Developer Batterystaple Games has announced that 30XX, the sequel to its enjoyable Mega-Man-X-inspired procedural rogue-like 20XX, will enter Steam early access on 17th February.
30XX's predecessor - which released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch back in 2018 (following around four years of Steam early access development on PC) - is a bit of a treat, transforming Capcom's classic Mega Man X run-and-gun formula into a delightfully replayable procedurally generated platform rogue-like.
Although 20XX's procedural algorithm, which constructs stages by assembling pre-designed level chunks, could be a bit hit and miss, its tight platforming action (featuring a choice of two distinct heroes), entertaining bosses, and a wide array of abilities to keep each run fresh made it easy to overlook the occasional wobble - and it even managed to pack in optional co-op play for some added amusement with a friend.
Batterystaple's imminent sequel, which features a new pixel-based aesthetic by Rogue Legacy artist Glauber Kotaki, follows the same basic formula as its predecessor - once again unleashing a procedural dollop of retro-inspired platforming, complete with local and online co-op play - but will introduce a fresh set of level themes, each with their own visuals, bosses, and music.
Six of these themes will be available when 30XX launches into Steam early access next month, including a cathedral packed with reflective surfaces known as Penumbra, as well as the Deepverse, described as "a synthwave holo-jungle with intense timing-based hazards that test precise mastery of 30XX's crisp controls."
30XX also features an "intricate" Power Fusion system for playable hero Nina, which makes it possible to synthesise moves from fallen bosses into 64 hybrid moves, while second playable character Ace can chain together devastating combos known as Techniques.
Elsewhere, the first game's classic rogue-like Arcade Mode will be joined by a new Mega Mode that removes permadeath, adds saves, and keeps levels the same until they're successfully overcome. Additionally, there's a new Maker Mode level editor, enabling players to design and share custom stages via tools similar to those used by the developer, and there'll be an option to shuffle the most popular levels into a play-through.
It all sounds extremely promising, and we'll have a clearer idea of how things are shaping up when 30XX comes to Steam early access on 17th February.