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Doublefine's Robotic Bodysnatcher: Headlander

Headlander [official site] made me think of Wall-E, except there’s only one human left in the robot-run offworld colony. Technically, the bots are humans of a sort, the entire race having transferred their consciousness from its fleshy confines into new robotic bodies. Those robots are under the authority of a wicked computer and it’s up to the last meat-person (YOU) to save the day. Problem is, you’re outnumbered. Oh, and you don’t have a body. Cue body-switching, ability-gathering, side-scrolling action.

The game is a Double Fine production but will be published by Adult Swim. You might have seen a big video showing half an hour of the game a couple of weeks back, but this is a much more concise and snappy trailer, while still giving a good look at how the game will actually play. With some shooting and some puzzling and some platforming, that’s how it’ll play. To reach new areas or fight fresh batches of enemies, it’ll be necessary to transfer your head between bodies, allowing you to use their abilities.

It all looks very stylish, tapping into that retro sci-fi vibe that the title screen at the end exemplifies. Some of the jumping, dashing and shooting looks a little lightweight, but if that kind of motion serves the game when I’ve actually got a controller in my hands, it’ll barely register.

The Steam page says Headlander will be out this summer. If I look out of the window at the drizzle and the gray, summer seems any months away but I believe it has officially begun. Soon then. Edit: Late July in fact, as the trailer says. OPEN YOUR EYES, SMITH.

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Adam Smith

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