In a post-Super Mario Galaxy way, the levels are structures floating in space to which your robots can - currently - affix to any side. You're able to throw extra jumps midair to redirect your character, plus an attack move that sends you flying forward. With the enormous scale and the agility of the leads, it leads to a game which looks like a cross between cool abstract art and Dragon Ball Z.

Due to the speed the game operates at, the combat itself is clinically simple. You're able to summon a shield, which sacrifices mobility - you can't change jumping direction whilst doing it - for the ability to resist a blow. The shield flickers down when you do so, but it gives you time to counter-attack against your rebounding foe.

The characters are also tiny relative to the towering structures they fight upon, and this has led to some really neat visual - and design - touches, which lend the game its iconic look. Characters are followed by a coloured trail, its hue depending on how many points they've managed to amass by slaying. When a character collides with any of the flat surfaces, it changes to their colour. As well as looking nifty, these things mean it's easy to locate whoever you want to be fighting at any given moment. It's where the game's title comes from - that it's a game about conflict where really you're in plain sight all the time.

Of course, that's about getting closer to the combat - when you're in the vicinity it's a web of bouncing around, trying to hunt each person down and predict what they're going to do. Even now, without the fine-tuning the game requires in areas like the camera and control, when you manage to catch someone at the apex of a jump and propel yourself through them, it's katana-blade sharp. Or wakizashi sharp. Certainly sharp, anyway.

Flipping between the game's small planetoids adds an initially bewildering layer of strategy.

At the moment, the game's beta is plain, free-for-all-deathmatch, with an eye on team-games and capture-the-flag-esque modes that are to be added prior to release. Even with this, the game mechanics can be tweaked to offer considerably different experiences. Up the number of leaps and attacks you can perform whilst in flight and you have something that's more chaotic. A game where a hit from an opponent reduces the amount of points you have (and eventually kills you) is a different thing from a game where a single hit kills you, no matter how many points you've managed to amass.

As a whole, the game looks lovely - and lovely according to its own vision - and presents a high-paced online-game that should find its natural audience on Steam. There remains a lot to do before release - the aforementioned fine-detail - which makes you glad that the team has chose to take it public earlier. That feedback loop is going to be absolutely fundamental in making Plain Sight work. With a planned release in April, there's time to solidify their vision into what could be a quirky indie multiplayer joy.

Plain Sight is in open beta, and you can check it out by visiting Beatnik's website.

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Kieron Gillen

Kieron Gillen


Kieron is one of the founders of the lovely Rock, Paper, Shotgun and nowadays writes comics for Marvel starring characters that even his mum has heard of.

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