Grab a friend: Gang Beasts
Do you ever wish you had more games to play with your friends when they come over? Well look no further! Grab a friend, grab a PC, and get ready to play Gang Beasts!
Gang Beasts is a indie title published by Double Fine Studios, and has been in early access since 2014. It is widely well-received on steam, with 76% positive ratings from the more than 9,500 people who reviewed the game. It is, much like the other games in this column, an arena-based ‘fighting’ game. The overall game doesn’t offer a whole lot, but gameplay itself can easily provide an hour if not two or three of pure fun.
One of the coolest things about the game is that the way to win matches isn’t about trying to kill your friends in some unique fashion. This time, you have to throw them off of things! The game is all about beating your friends by somehow getting them off the map.This can be accomplished by knocking them out and somehow getting them to fall off, or picking them up and throwing them off. Besides that, the rest of the match is a goofy, wobbly mess of appendages flailing around until someone gets knocked out. The pure silliness and raw fun this game offers from its blob characters created some of the best visuals I have in my recent memory.
The game has a bit of a learning curve: first learn the relatively simple controls. These are walking around, punching, kicking, headbutting jumping, grabbing, raising your hands, and laying down. Each one is pretty easy to learn on its own, but putting them together is when the game starts to get a little difficult. Snail around the map by walking and laying down at the same time, or go for a flying headbutt against your friends by mixing a headbutt and a jump. All of the different fighting combos sound fun and look hilarious when executed correctly, but getting them right may require you to test the controls and how things work on the maps for a few games, before actually going at it. Experienced gamers or people who pick up controls easily might not need to do this, but for those who may not get the idea of different control sets, the game may come as a big difficulty. That being said, I would recommend having a friend around who is either used to playing games or has at least seen some videos of this game.
Once the controls are no longer a problem, the rest of the game is a lot of fun. There are two game modes: survival and waves. Survival is based on lives, while waves is based on fighting more and more enemies to see how long you can go. That means there is only one true multiplayer game type. The other is essentially harnessing your skills for multiplayer if you don’t have any friends to play with. You can always play online matches as well, but where’s the fun in that? It’s way more fun to see the hope pour out of your friends than some random stranger!
Now, there are a few issues with the game. The first is that the game is really difficult to play effectively using a keyboard. This game is obviously geared more for controllers because, not only are the key bindings goofy, but they also can’t be changed! This alone makes it a bit of a turnoff for its only audience, however developers have announced that they will be porting the game over to consoles eventually.
The second issue is that the game is not even a final product yet. It is still in early access, meaning that the game is not finished yet. This means that there are still bugs and things going wrong. This can be a little infuriating because of the high price point. The game is $20.00 USD on Steam. That means that Double Fine, who, granted, are well-known for their indie titles like Psychonauts and Costume Quest, are charging $20 for a game that isn’t even finished yet! The game is fun, but I definitely think that the price point can be a fair argument against it.
All in all, if you are looking for a fun, goofy, fighting-style game that can keep you and your friends occupied for at least a couple of hours, then this is a completely solid choice. I would not hesitate to pick up this game again, purely for the amount of laughs and fun that it has brought me. That being said, Gang Beasts is a solid choice for anyone who is looking for a fun local multiplayer game on PC, and I highly recommend picking it up.