PAX Prime 2014: When Horatio Goes Hexagonal

The Behemoth is known for wacky and outsized ideas, but their newly playable in-progress build of code name Game 4 at PAX Prime 2014 goes even further than the preceding entries in creating a new and boldly weird new world. The game takes place in the shattered remains of a world marked by a collision with a planet sized bear (no, seriously) and through the eyes of Horatio and his expanding band of merry adventurers.

The look and feel is akin to their previous efforts such as Castle Crashers, transferred to a mix of hexagonal turn based combat and open world traversal. The early version of Game 4 relies heavily on context sensitive placement of your heroes; an axe wielder will engage in melee combat when placed adjacent to an enemy, and switch to ranged axe attacks if an empty hex separates them. The convention experience is enhanced with a giant custom joystick cabinet setup that staffers told me were custom built, adding an extra oomph to finalizing each turn by “pressing Y” by pulling on a large wooden lever shaped like the letter.

Each hero also has health and damage meters that increase with earned experience, as well as complementary and contrasting match ups with enemy types they necessitate specific formations and attack plans based on enemy squadron composition. It’s a blend of mostly conventional turn based mechanics with the unique aesthetic of The Behemoth, a concoction which is already addictive and charming. Look for it on the Xbox One and Steam, for likely release some time in 2015.

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