February 12th, 2015

Time Played: 9 hours

Last Played: N/A

Gang Beasts: Adorable Brutality

If you’ve never heard of Gang Beasts, this is the best way I can describe it:

“It’s like a drunken physics-based version of Super Smash Brothers.”

Gang Beasts is a game that, without fail, makes everyone who plays it scream with both delight and burning rage. The premise: you and your friends are dumped into an arena. The goal: beat the ever-loving snot out of everyone who is not you; and mercilessly throw them to their death.

Sounds horrific. But the game is so cute and silly that instead, it just ends up being hilarious.

The standard body you play as already looks like a stuffed animal of some kind. But on top of that you can wear animal suits that elevate the game to a whole new level of adorable. However, there are plenty of other outfits to choose from–if you’re feeling dapper, a top hat and tie. Perhaps a sombrero is more your style?

(The sombrero has saved my life many times. Just sayin’.)

There isn’t a whole lot to Gang Beasts mechanically. If you’re using a gamepad, you tap on the left and right bumpers to punch. Hold them to grab onto whatever you’re touching: whether that is the floor, a wall, a ferris wheel cart, your friends unconscious face, or even your own sombrero.

The punching and grabbing mechanics are used exquisitely. The main way to defeat your opponents is to beat them unconscious, grab them, and throw them out of the arena. You can also press Y (on an Xbox 360 controller) to raise your arms, allowing you to perform a myriad of tasks such as: joyously gloating over your conquered friends, lifting their limp bodies over the railing, or impromptu dance offs!

Currently Gang Beasts is a local co-op game in which up to eight people can brutalize each other in 10 unique stages. Every stage in the game features some kind of theme, like a massive wind turbine which affects the gravity in the room, window washing gondolas you can push your friends off of (or even break the support wires, if you’re devious), or the back of shipping tucks on the highway.

It should be said that Gang Beasts is an early access title, which means that the game is not a finished product. However,Gang Beasts is great despite it’s unfinished state. There is plenty of content in Gang Beasts, and the developers keep adding more. Despite being ‘unfinished’ it feels complete. My only complaint with the game is its price. Currently it is listed on steam for $20 dollars. By itself, I don’t think that Gang Beasts is worth $20…

However, if you have three or more friends, the game becomes exponentially more attractive. I was able to get four friends to pitch in, lowering the total price to $4 a piece. Definitely a great deal.

Unfortunately if you don’t have a group of friends who meet up regularly enough to justify the purchase, you’re kinda out of luck. The game has no AI bots (yet) and cannot be played in a meaningful way alone. You have to have at least one other person.

This game is wonderful, dumb, and stupid in the best possible ways. Listening to your friends’ frantic screams as you beat them unconscious and throw them into a meat grinder is always hilarious.

That’s probably the worst thing I have ever written…

Despite its price, Gang Beasts has universally been a great time, no matter who I play it with. Screaming and yelling mixed with giggling and heartfelt laughter is a constant companion. I hope you can also experience the massive swings of joy and rage that are intrinsically a part of this game. It truly is worth it.

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