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Heart-stopping shooter Black Future '88 crashes out today

It’s 1988. It’s been 1988 for longer than anyone can remember, and you’ve only got minutes to make it to the top of a tower before your heart explodes. Rubbish, that. So begins Black Future ’88, a side-scrolling cyberpunk shooter from developers SuperScarySnakes, released today. You know the drill – there’s a big bad needing a bullet in the skull, backed by nefarious bosses and an army of killer robots. With 18 minutes until catastrophic cardiac failure, taking it slow isn’t really an option.

Cards on the table, I’m bored stiff with 80s cyberpunk nonsense. Fortunately, I love me a good shooter, and Black Future is selling some great chunky gunning n’ running here.

Cor, look at the size of those bullets. So thick, so bright. Vlambeer would be proud.

Beyond bullets the size of a small truck, there’s quite a bit more of Nuclear Throne‘s irradiated blood flowing through this. Picking from one of 5 punked-up kids, you’ll murder your way through a series of increasingly-irradiated zones, bashing bosses and ruining your bod with permanent upgrades each time you level up. Hell, even the green cash sticks you hoover out of baddies look like Throne’s radiation tubes.

Not that Black Future doesn’t have any ideas of its own. Those abilities offered up each level? Some are good, sure, but Black Future also wants to you consider cursing yourself with debuffs every now and again. Synergy’s the name of the game, and you never know. What seems painful early on could end up playing really well with one of your weapons.

Those guns are the star of the show, I reckon. Each comes with a bonkers twist – a sniper rifle that spends your cash to fire devastating rounds; a railgun that swaps you and your target’s position with teleport shenanigans; a massive laser that shortens your life expectancy when fired.

You can even slap two weapons together to create one monstrous multi-gun. In the trailer, we see a flammable gas launcher combine with a nail smelter to create a brand new long-range flamethrower.

Even if the theming’s not my cuppa, Black Future looks like a right lark. It’s out now on Steam and GOG for £14/€18/$18.

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Natalie Clayton

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Frequent news rascal and giant robot enthusiast.

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