While it would be thematically appropriate for a game named Assault Spy to sneak by completely unnoticed, this upcoming brawler from Japanese indie studio Wazen (and published/localised by NIS America) has landed itself squarely on my radar, thanks to its Devil May Cry inspired combo stylings. That, and the fact that you get to beat up a lot of weirdly adorable robots with a briefcase and umbrella. This week, it made its early access debut via Steam.
I must admit that at least half my interest in this game does stem from the simple joy of being able to flip out and wreck an army of robots armed with nothing more than formal office-wear and a brolly. Sure, it may be some kind of high-tech spy umbrella designed for whacking things with, but it's a look I can get behind. It also helps that the trailer has some nice beats and a consistent pace. Good to see more Japanese indies making the leap to Steam too, and also taking on more demanding genres such as this.
The first early access build of the game does sound like it's a little light on content. Right now, it only features one of the two planned playable protagonists (dapper anime spy Asaru - the other planned character is a lady CIA agent who fights robots bare-handed), and only takes you as far as the first major boss fight of the game. There's clearly a good chunk of content yet to be developed, although Wazen reckon that it should be finished sometime around Autumn.
The first handful of user reviews seem positive on the whole, although they do confirm that there's not much meat on Assault Spy's bones right now. The environments might also become a little monotone - while I appreciate the intent of having grey backgrounds and flashes of colour to draw your eyes to the characters, they might have gone a little far on the drab cubicle aesthetic. Still, it's relatively early days yet, considering that most of the game is still in development.
If you don't mind getting in on the ground floor and taking the stairs, Assault Spy is £15.49/$20 on Steam right now, with a price increase planned for once the game is finished.