By Josh Speer / September 2nd, 2014
I don’t know if you know this about me, but over the past few months, I have become a huge fan of The Behemoth. I love the zany visual style of Dan Paladin, and the humor of Will Stamper. Better yet, each and every one of their games has tight gameplay and loads of replay value. Thus, it was with much anticipation that I went to PAX yesterday to demo their as yet unnamed new game, simply called “Behemoth Game 4” for now. I had no idea what to expect, other than it was a new genre for them, and whatever else you can garner from this trailer.
Confused yet? You should be. This game, according to my brief discussion with Aaron Jungjohann, lead level designer for the game, marks the corner stone of the current Behemoth universe. As seen in the trailer, the “bear blood” has wreaked havoc on reality, and opened up all sorts of delightful storytelling possibilities. Better yet, this one has had Stamper working with them from the beginning, in case the narrator didn’t cue you in. I do love how the mad, mysterious narrator often portrays events in ways fully divorced from reality. In case you haven’t played BattleBlock Theater (blasphemy!), I will tell you the ending of that game directly correlates to the beginning of this one. HoneyHugs, the bear mentioned by the narrator, was laser beamed to death in the ending, and somehow this causes the chaos in “Game 4.” But you’re wondering what type of gameplay, right? RIGHT? Well, it’s a tactical grid based Behemoth game.
Similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening or Final Fantasy Tactics, the field is split into a grid you must traverse in order to do battle. They used hexagonal pieces to allow for more strategic planning, and it works marvelously. Depending on the weapons you have equipped, your characters can do different things. For example, the main character, Horatio, starts out with a large shield and sword. The shield protects him from ranged damage, such as arrows or bullets, during the opponent’s turn. However, if he were to equip a mace instead of a sword, he would be able to crush helmet wearing foes. Every weapon is strong or weak against another, which leads to a lot of possibilities. The nice thing is, you are able to use the characters you like, and still try whatever strategy pleases you. Oh, and before I forget, take a gander at the awesome setup they had for this game.
For my demo, pressing the giant A button confirmed placement, and to start combat you pulled the yellow level until it lit up. I felt like I was in a Star Trek battle or something, but somehow it worked. The nice thing about combat is you don’t have to be a hardcore expert in the genre to appreciate it. In fact, that is what Behemoth is going for, appealing to both the casual and hardcore fans of tactical gaming. And, because it’s a Behemoth game, there is also tons of customization options. From my first few battles, I unlocked lots of new items to wear, completely changing how my team looked and played.
Though there is no release date yet, Aaron confirmed they are farther along with this than any other game previously shown at PAX. Which is very exciting news. The best news is that it is coming to Steam and Xbox One, so fans far and wide should be able to buy some version of it. I had a blast with “Behemoth Game 4,” and impatiently await a release date — and a proper title. Should be a lot of fun!
Behemoth Game 4Dan PaladinPAX Prime 2014The BehemothWill Stamper