These days it's easy to slap together a marketing pitch by describing a game as a mix of other games. "The Binding of Isaac meets Silent Hill" someone might say of Darkwood, or "it's Doom meets Spelunky" one could say of Paranautical Activity. It's a cliche, but it works. Now indie developer Suppressive Fire Games has described its upcoming adventure Bloody Alloy as "A 2D, urban sci-fi Metroidvania featuring the combat mechanics of Dark Souls as applied to gunplay plus the dynamic speed of Vanquish." I'm listening.
But rather than simply hide behind the names of other games it was "inspired by," Blood Alloy talks the talk by limiting its brief Kickstarter pitch video to two minutes of raw gameplay footage, which is refreshing after watching so many pitches of people in their living rooms discussing the game they want to make with a smattering of concept art lying around. Better yet, Blood Alloy actually looks like the cocktail of classic games mentioned in its pitch.
The Metroid comparison is obvious due to Blood Alloy's non-linear world and cybernetic female soldier protagonist who gains new weapons and power-ups through exploration and slaying foes. What's less obvious is that such actions as attacking, blocking and dodging are tied to an energy reserve, which is basically Dark Souls' stamina meter determining what strategies you have available. Of course, Dark Souls wasn't the first game to include a stamina meter (nor was its predecessor Demon's Souls for that matter), but the comparison seems apt as Blood Alloy will also factor in From Software's love of obscure secrets. Elsewhere, the Vanquish inspiration is apparent in the protagonist's hyper-kinetic moveset, and Suppressive Fire even tosses in a little Hotline Miami flavour with free-aiming and supposedly "savage gunplay, ruthlessly aggressive enemies" and a "pounding soundtrack."
My only qualm with Blood Alloy's debut trailer is that some of the art is a bit drab at the moment, but that's because Suppressive Games is only made up of one guy, an ex-Harmonix dev named Frank Washburn. He has some independent contractors helping out with the art, sound and animation, and he'd like to hire this six-person contributor team to continue its work on the game. As such, roughly 75 per cent of the $50,000 Kickstarter goal will go to hiring these people.
Early adopters will be able to secure a digital copy of Blood Alloy for $10 upon its estimated December 2014 release on PC, Mac and Ouya, while those who miss out will have to pay $15 for the same reward. Toss in an extra $15 or so and get the digital soundtrack, art book, and your name in the credits. You know the drill.
The Blood Alloy Kickstarter just launched yesterday and has acquired $5,101 of its $50,000 goal with 28 days left before its 10th October deadline.