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Kick the cocaine, save the monkeys, burn the cash in High Hell

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Hostile takeover

PAX started off on the right foot this year. Traditionally a show where we focus on cool-seeming indie games, the Devolver-published High Hell is the epitome of that weirdness we try to find. "YEAH, KICK THE COKE!" is something a developer shouted at me. I honestly think it helped me break my hangover just a little bit.

High Hell is the newly-announced follow-up from the Heavy Bullets creator and music man Adam "Doseone" Drucker. Bullets are about the only connection, though. This one isn't randomly generated and it isn't permadeath. Instead, it's a controlled narrative about corporate sabotage through punk rock means. Think burning stacks of cash rather than pocketing them.

It's a simple first-person shooter. There's one gun, unlimited ammo, and aggressively dumb enemies. Kicking down doors, clearing a room, kicking down more doors, and clearing another room is largely what High Hell is about. It sounds reductive but it's not meant to. I played five levels and didn't find myself wishing there were more systems.

While it's obviously rooted in the ridiculous, High Hell finds entertaining ways to go a little further. Every level's objective is something silly like saving chimps, but the exit to every level is simply jumping off any ledge. The loading screens that precede every stage are disguised as "Satanic Sorbets" -- quick free-form things where you spraypaint dicks on the art or where you poke at all the meth. (I was backhandedly complimented for my restraint in not drawing dicks; I've failed you, readers.)

Part of the reason this is more structured than Heavy Bullets is so that developers Terri Vellmann and Doseone could introduce boss fights. We only took on one, and it required blasting energy beams while avoiding brainwashed monkeys. But, the names of these characters are: Professor Meth, The Dog Pimp, Beelzebot, the three Career Goats, Doberwoman, and The Bo$$. That list is just for the people who still aren't sure what thematic angle this game's aiming for.

For now, we're told that High Hell only has its sights set on PC but that it "might have a few surprises planned." Talking with Doseone, he made it seem as if console versions depended more on getting the game to feel good on a controller since it was made for mouse and keyboard. If they can't adapt it in a way they're happy with, it sounds as if it'll just stay exclusive to PC. Wherever we gotta go to flip over ball pits and burn down drug labs is a-okay with us.


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Brett Makedonski
Brett MakedonskiManaging Editor   gamer profile

While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more + disclosures


 



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    Filed under... #Devolver Digital #Drugs #Indie #PAX #Previews #Shooters #Top Stories

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