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El Paso, Elsewhere gets the vibes right in its Next Fest demo, available now

Vampire weekend

El Paso, Elsewhere, the Max Payne inspired shooter where you fight werewolves and vampires in a reality-shifting motel, has a demo now, and it's looking pretty promising so far. It's the next title on the docket for developer Strange Scaffold, a team whose projects just constantly have strong hooks (how good is An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs as a title though). El Paso, Elsewhere is no different, and you can even try it out now as part of this season's Steam Next Fest in a new demo. And yeah, the vibes are about as tight as you'd expect.

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As mentioned, the game borrows heavily from PS2-era classic Max Payne, complete with slow motion bullet time and dramatic dives. To dig a bit deeper into the game's concept, you play as James Savage, and your ex-girlfriend (the lord of the vampires, of course) wants to perform a ritual to bring about the end of the world. Vibes wise, this little demo is oozing with edge, leaning into its neo-noir roots with no consideration for the phrase "that's too much." The voice acting is moody and perfectly melodramatic, and really sets you up for the heightened reality it presents.

Gameplay is compelling so far too, the demo offering up a tutorial and a couple of levels to blast your way through. There is a little bit of jank to deal with, which feels fitting for the period of games history it's emulating, though nothing so off putting that it would make me put the controller down. The important thing is that slow-mo diving backwards and shooting a werewolf jumping right for me feels incredibly cool.

El Paso, Elsewhere was announced a couple of years ago, and is due out this autumn. A side game called El Paso, Nightmare released last year that presents the same setting but with some Call of Duty zombies style, first-person gameplay.

There's plenty of demos to check out as part of Steam Next Fest too, like Let's School, the next game from the devs behind My Time at Portia, or Tales & Tactics, a roguelike deckbuilder made by a team that previously worked on some popular Slay the Spire mods.

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