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Holy smokes, I think Replaced might be my game of E3 2021

Just look at all that gorgeous pixel art!

Artwork for Sad Cat Studio's new game Replaced, showing a moody looking man and a highspeed train shootout
Image credit: Coatsink

Microsoft's Xbox and Bethesda Games E3 showcase was chock full of incredible-looking games, but the one that stood out the most for me was Sad Cat Studios' stunning debut, Replaced. It's a 2.5D sci-fi action platformer set in a grim dystopian city, but heavens to betsy, it has the most gorgeous pixel art I ever did see.

It's no secert that pixel art games are getting lovelier by the day - just look at the incredible Backbone that came out the other day - but Replaced is on another level entirely, with gorgeous effects, lighting and some incredibly swish animations. Take a look at the trailer below and see if you don't fall instantly in love with it.

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In Replaced, you play as R.E.A.C.H, an AI trapped inside a human body against its will, in an alternate 1980s America. As you struggle to adapt to your new mode of living in the moody, neon-lit streets of Phoenix City, you'll be digging deep into society's corrupt overlords. Following a catastrophic nuclear event, outlaws run rife in this town, which means plenty of butt to kick in the game's "free-flow action combat" and "cinematic platforming".

The trailer doesn't give much away about the game's story, although I'd imagine that finding out how you came to be trapped inside this human body will no doubt be one of the many mysteries you'll be untangling over the course of the game. For now, though, the only thing I want to know is what kind of artistic wizardry this Belarusian studio's worked to make Replaced look so gosh darn spectacular. Just look at those windswept trees, those glistening, rain-soaked streets, that fluid battle choreography. It's poetry in motion, so excuse me a second while I watch the trailer again another dozen more times.

Replaced will be out on Steam, the Epic Games Store and Xbox Game Pass sometime next year in 2022. Get it wishlisted folks. I have a feeling this one's going to be real special.

E3 2021 may be over but our memories live on - see everything on our E3 hub. Many more big game showcases and streams are still to come this summer, leading up to Gamescom, so see our summer games stream schedule to stay up to date.

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