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The Gunk trailer shows SteamWorld developer's first 3D action game

Vac the planet

We're big fans of gunk on RPS. The gunk leaking from a suppurating mouse pad; the years of collected gunk found beneath the keys of a keyboard; and now, The Gunk, an upcoming action adventure from the makers of the Steamworld series. It's due out this December and there's a new trailer below.

The above trailer was shown during this evening's Xbox showcase at Gamescom 2021. (You can find a roundup of all of the games shown here.) It shows glimpses of exploration starring the game's protagonist, Rani, as she explores an alient planet being overrun by a substance that looks like black lava lamp slime. You'll be hoovering it up as you move through the planet's different biomes, and restoring the ecosystem in the process.

Honestly, there's a little hesitation in my support for this particular Gunk. The gameplay trailer above contains a lot more walking forward through landscapes than it does meaningful depictions of its puzzle solving or combat. It also looks thoroughly drab. "This planet is literally a paradise when the gunk's gone," says the protagonist, but even the scenes showing burgeoning flora and friendly fauna are still half full of grey ruins.

Yet Image & Form have earned the benefit of the doubt. They've previously been focused on the genre-hopping SteamWorld series, including platformer SteamWorld Dig and its sequel, the turn-based tactics of SteamWorld Heist, and RPG deckbuilder SteamWorld Quest. All of those games are wonderful. Their new game might not be called SteamWorld Gunk, but their work across those games is more than enough reason to look forward to The Gunk.

The Gunk will launch this December and will be available on day one via Xbox Game Pass. In the meantime, the Xbox blog has a few more details about the making of the game and its backstory.

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