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Skin Deep is Die Hard in space from the creator of Quadrilateral Cowboy

Stealthy sci-fi shooter Skin Deep, latest from Blendo Games (Quadrilateral Cowboy, Flotilla, etc) cites the greatest Christmas movie ever – Die Hard – and Far Cry 2 as equal inspirations. As the resident barefoot badass aboard a spacecraft crawling with murderous pirates, it’s up to the player to clear out the bad guys, ideally while not being vented into space, bleeding out or otherwise dying horribly. The game was just announced with no release date yet, but below you’ll find a debut trailer featuring acrobatic sharpshooting and a dedicated ‘cough blood’ button.

What it lacks in graphical fidelity, Skin Deep makes up for in its interesting systems. Stealth is easy when you’re an a larger-than-life secret agent, but it looks like the player is a fairly fragile character, requiring frequent medical aid, and sometimes just liable to sneeze when you’re trying to avoid a fight. One interesting twist seems to be that aiming seems at least partially automated, with the player landing two perfect headshots in rapid succession, one while dangling upside-down. Being set in space, oxygen is also at a premium, and windows can be broken.

Oddly enough, this all reminds me of Die Hard for the NES. On top of hitting most of the plot beats of the film, it gave you a strict time limit, and a finite number of bad guys in the entire tower to deal with. Ammo was limited, and injuries to your feet didn’t just make movement slower, but took a bigger chunk out of your limited time every time you had to traverse a flight of stairs. I’m interested to see just how far the odds are stacked against the player in Skin Deep. Given developer Brendon Chung’s documented love of Far Cry 2’s unwelcoming world, I’d guess ‘very’.

Right now, there’s no release date for Skin Deep and given Blendo’s history I wouldn’t even hazard a guess at when it might be launching. The game will be single-player only, and is currently a solo development project, using Blendo’s old favourite Id Tech 4 engine – the beating heart behind Doom 3. You can find it on its official page here or Steam and follow Blendo on Twitter here.

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Dominic Tarason

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