Double Fine have just unveiled tongue-in-cheek ’80s-themed post-apocalyptic hack n’ slasher RAD. Players control a baseball bat-swinging, life-bringing teen as they explore a radioactive wasteland, fighting and looting as they go, action RPG style. Wherever you walk, lush green grass sprouts in your wake, but exposure to the weirdness of the wastes changes you in turn. Players can pick up a bunch of big, weird, visible mutations; A stretchy snake-head, gnarly tree-legs or a horrible ovipositor to spit eggs and spawn teen-headed spider minions – ick. See the reveal trailer below.
This being an isometric-ish hack n’ slasher, it only stands to reason that the game’s wasteland – The Fallow – is procedurally generated. The mutations remind me a bit of The Binding Of Isaac in their combined gruesomeness and practicality. It’s familiar action roguelike stuff, with progression systems so that even if you end up wiping out, you’ll not have wasted all of your time. There’s talk of daily runs and baseball bats unlocked to give your later characters an early foot up. Players can also choose to bank resources for use on future runs, or spend it on upgrades immediately.
There’s nothing too wildly original about any of this – it’s a familiar blend of elements put together in a slightly different configuration, but it does look and sound nice. I’m still not tired of synthwave music and the surrounding aesthetic, and have come to terms that the pseudo-nostalgic ’80s is here to stay as a cultural artefact. If there’s one thing I can grumble about it’s the trailer narrator, who falls a bit flat on his ironic delivery. Still, it’s nice to see a bright and colourful take on the apocalypse made even more colourful just by running around it, and some of those mutations are downright grody. Double Fine are taking sign-ups for a closed beta in a few weeks.
RAD is out “Soon”, and almost certainly before the year’s end. Despite Double Fine being a publisher themselves and the game debuting on a Nintendo indie stream, Bandai Namco are publishing. Check out the official page here. Double Fine are taking sign-ups for an April 8th closed beta here.