It was Superhot that first made me think about the old writer's adage, that you do the slow stuff fast and the fast stuff slow. This is the thinking that powers Jack Reacher novels, for example - Lee Child talks about this trick often and with great clarity. If Reacher's doing a bunch of research, you whip through it in a couple of lines. Literary montage! If Reacher's outside a bar, though, and a horseshoe of bad'uns is forming around him, time slows until it forms a thick mineral goop that traps everyone within it. The next few seconds are going to involve the shattering of kneecaps and the bruising of aortas (if aortas are a thing that can be bruised - having typed it, I am unconvinced). The next few seconds are going to be violent and memorable. Crucially, the next few seconds are going to take eight or nine pages to play out, because every move will be examined in great forensic detail. We will count the separate sparks in the air, and be deafened by the clatter of a spent cartridge case rattling on the tarmac. We will be fully present and fully conscious in these terrible, glorious moments.
I have heard All Walls Must Fall described as a blend of real-time and turn-based tactical action, set in a retro-futuristic Berlin in which the Cold War never ended and where all matters of consequence unfold in the procedurally-generated nightclubs favoured by gay time-travelling superspies. Deep breath. Influences cover everything from Twelve Monkeys and X-Com to Invisible Inc, Superhot and - when it comes to the wonderfully grungy animation that chops together 2D character models and low-poly 3D backgrounds - the old Paddington Bear children's series that was so memorably narrated by Michael Hordern. It all sounds a bit complicated really. But it isn't. When you get into a fight here, All Walls Must Fall is gloriously, deliriously, skull-shakingly straightforward.
All Walls Must Fall
Super cool tech-noir tactics game All Walls Must Fall leaves Early Access and launches proper on Steam on 23rd February.
The nuke is always less than 10 hours away. The debut release from inbetweengames, a studio made up of Yager veterans, All Walls Must Fall transforms the concept of the Doomsday Clock into a grid-based tactical action experience with procedurally generated missions and a focus on time travel - a techno medley of Syndicate, XCOM and Crypt of the Necrodancer. It unfolds in 2089, following an alternate 1980s in which Germany's Peaceful Revolution never occurred and the East and West remain violently polarised. Somebody, somewhere in Berlin is about to set off an atomic bomb, and your task, as one of several cyborg agents, is to comb nightclubs for clues about the culprit while undertaking various missions, using a combination of persuasion, hacking, brutality and good old-fashioned temporal manipulation to work your way into the city's criminal underground.
All Walls Must Fall, the cool-looking tech-noir tactics spy thriller set in Berlin 2089, has launched on Steam Early Access today.
UPDATE 28th March 2017: The All Walls Must Fall Kickstarter is a success.