By Jaime Skelton (MissyS), Senior Editor
“Hotline Miami meets John Wick.” That’s the five word selling point for God’s Trigger, a new co-op action game by One More Level (the team behind Warlocks Vs Shadows) and published by Techland. After playing through two stages at PAX West, I can’t do any better than that marketing tag line: it may be one of the most fitting “X meets Y” descriptions I’ve heard in years. Still, allow me to take you through a brief descriptive journey of the most exciting game I played at PAX West.
God’s Trigger is a 2D top-down puzzle shooter featuring two protagonists: Harry, a fallen angel seeking to redeem himself and return to heaven, and Judy, a demoness seeking to atone for her sins and escape hell. The two must work together to stop the four Horseman of the Apocalypse. It’s the perfect pitch for a prime time network show, but it also works to set the story for God’s Trigger.
The game is primarily as a two-player co-op (online or local), with one player controlling Harry and one controlling Judy. Solo players, I’m told, will have to switch between the two characters in order to clear stages, which sounds more challenging but rewarding to those who accomplish it. Playing as both is essential because each has a unique ability. Harry can smash through certain areas, while Judy can teleport through different areas. In order to complete stages, both characters must use their special abilities, along with coordinate with other mechanics, in order to complete puzzles.
Like Hotline Miami, the action is intense and merciless. God’s Trigger obeys one hit kill mechanics, and enemies are lightning fast, meaning Harry and Judy are going to be eating dirt more often than not. As punishing as that sounds, the game automatically saves progress frequently – enough that you will only ever be set back one or two rooms at most. If your team mate goes down, they can crawl out of harm’s way and can be revived; but there is a time limit, and death for one means death for all.
The game also punishes you with weapons. Weapons drop frequently from enemies, but have limited uses or ammo. Avoiding blind, low-accuracy shots is key to outlasting the stage, as you won’t get free hand-outs when you die. There are plenty of weapon variations though: in the time I played, I saw pistols, shotguns, crossbows, ricochet bullets, and a riot shield with what I could only describe as a taser whip.
The end result is an insanely fun cooperative experience. Despite having never played the game before, and being paired with a stranger, we cleared two stages (an easy stage and a secret hard stage) in less than half an hour. Once I got used to the controls and began learning enemy patterns and weapon use, I was carrying my own weight and ran to revive my partner as often as they came to my rescue. Accomplishment and camaraderie left me sated long afterward, and this is a game I’ll personally be looking forward to playing with Outfoxed.
Look forward to seeing God’s Trigger in early 2018!