A desperate human race pushed to the brink of extinction. Enormous man-eating giants loom just outside the massive walls of the last surviving cities, and their only weakness is decapitation, or at least a sharp blade across the nape of their neck. Such death-blows can only be delivered by high-flying, acrobatic, sword-wielding warriors – our species’ last line of defence.
No, it’s not Attack On Titan. It’s Extinction [official site], the completely unrelated upcoming giant-slaying action game from current Killer Instinct developers Iron Galaxy Studios. While first announced a few months back, you can see a shiny new gameplay trailer after the jump.
It is a shame that Extinction’s ogres look simply like scaled-up versions of regular-sized ogres and orcs you might see in any fantasy game rather than anything more interesting, lacking even the strange warped morphology of Attack On Titan’s titular, er, Titans. On the other hand, this isn’t the first time that Iron Galaxy have turned a generic aesthetic into something special, through some kind of bizarre game-development alchemical process. You have only to look at their work on the excellent Killer Instinct reboot – a game that looks uncannily like the kind of character art you used to get on GPU packaging – for proof that their games tend to be more than the sum of their parts, at least in recent years.
As an aside, Killer Instinct has just escaped the suffocating confines of Microsoft’s Windows 10 store and is now on Steam. But that’s neither here nor there.
Their legacy as fighting game developers is clear to see in the few minutes of gameplay footage shown so far at E3 earlier this year, with a focus on aerial juggle combos used against smaller minion enemies, and precise execution to take down the ogres themselves as quickly as possible, as you’ll be dealing with several of them per mission. Traversal of the environment seems simple as well, with tall buildings able to be scaled in a single upward scramble, and treetops offering the chance to chain horizontal boost-jumps to get around faster outside of town walls.
Despite the outward similarities, this isn’t Attack On Titan or even Shadow of the Colossus, even if Iron Galaxy have made it easy to draw comparisons. Extinction looks like its own game, and I’m looking forward to seeing if it’s as fun to cut giants down to size in practice as it is on paper. Extinction is due for release some time in early 2018.