Unofficial RPS award: Zeno Clash devs ACE Team get the 'least predictable developer' gong. They've gone surrealistic boxing, historical art-boulders, transforming ARPGs and, soon, apocalyptic wax cylinders, but next up is perhaps their most overt mainstream play yet, The Deadly Tower of Monsters [official site]. But even though it's got some familiar shooty-jumpy mechanics, it's still a cavalcade of madly inventive visual ideas. It's out next month, and the latest footage concentrates on its gloriously B-movie, deliberately low-rent monsters. Basically, if that old Universal Studios set tour ride was expanded into a hacky-slashy game and had a rich sense of self-awareness added, this is that. You even get stop-motion dinosaurs. Delightful! And a hero called, uh, 'Dick Starspeed', which is delightful in an entirely different way.
As I understand it, the director's commentary is an option rather than necessity, though it strikes me as very much the right way to play this thing.
Have to hope the sardonic Ed Wood theme can last a whole game of course, but I'm definitely on board to find out. The Deadly Tower of Monsters will be released via Steam on January 19th, and on that Sony tellybox thingy too.
As giddy a pleasure as this looks, I remain far more interested in the mysterious trailer ACE Team put out a while back for The Endless Cylinder, documenting some intergalactic armageddon on a grand and a bizarre scale. Let's hope that the relatively broad appeal of Deadly Tower Of Monsters gets them the funbucks they need to make that live up to its great potential.