Like fidget spinners, Metroidvanias are in great abundance lately. The indie games industry, as a whole, seems to be producing them in bulk. Once in awhile, though, we see a Metroidvania where the “Castlevania” portion of the game is replaced with gameplay and visuals derived from other classic action platformers.
Beyond Human is one of these Metroidvanias. Beyond Human swaps out the Castlevania part of a Metroidvania and replaces it with gameplay reminiscent of that found in classic action-platformers like Shadow Dancer or Strider.
As of the time of this video being produced, Beyond-Human has an open Kickstarter campaign that seeks funds to further nourish the game’s development. A playable demo is freely available for anyone to try.
In Beyond Human, the player assumes control of Adam, a badass dude in an exo-suit who was abruptly awoken from cryo-sleep only to realize that everything around him has gone to complete shit thanks to an alien invasion.
Adam has a standard-issue rifle that fires bullets straight across the screen. It’s a useful weapon but the player will want to add the shotgun mod as soon as possible. To do this the player will need to kill enemies, collect some credits from their decapitated torsos, then find a save game spot where upgrades can be purchased.
When fired, the shotgun fire mode of the modded rifle drains the energy bar on the top-left hand corner of the screen. After a few moments, the energy bar will refill. The energy bar is also drained when dash or special attacks are performed. Reliance on a filled energy bar to execute special attacks or modded gun fire prevents these high-powered attacks from being abused by the player.
Using an alternate fire mode, like the one provided by the shotgun mod, requires the player to hold down the Active Mod button. This will be the LT button on an Xbox Controller or the L1 button on a DualShock controller. In my case, I assigned the shotgun mod to my Melee Attack button. If the Active Mod button is not held down when Melee Attack is pressed, a regular melee attack will be performed (assuming a melee weapon is equipped.) Otherwise, if Active Mod is held, and Melee Attack is pressed, the player’s shotgun mod will fire and the energy bar will drain temporarily.
Holding The Active Mod button permits three buttons on the right side of the controller to be assigned alternative rifle fire modes so long as a mod is assigned to the respective button.
As the player travels the facility, and jumps from platform-to-platform, he will encounter various enemy life forms like drones, high-tech ninjas in exo-suits, a monster that looks like a Zergling, armed enemy soldiers, and other dangerous creatures.
The gameplay is fairly fast paced, and requires a lot of dodging and jumping, dashing and slashing on the player’s behalf to survive enemy encounters. Often platforms, crates, and other objects in the environment will need to be utilized wisely to avoid enemy gunfire and other attacks. A sword upgrade is available that can be used to block and deflect enemy projectile attacks.
According to the Beyond Human kickstarter page, the game’s estimated release date is January 2019.
The Kickstarter demo, available for Windows, is free for everyone to try. I’ll link to it in the description below.
Give the demo a try yourself, and tell me what you think of it in the comments.
Beyond Human playable demo.