God's Trigger a new take on the Hotline Miami approach to violent top-down combat, but with 3D graphics and a focus on co-op gameplay. If the prospect of teaming up with a friend and kicking down doors and blasting through rooms of henchmen appeals, God's Trigger will be right up your street.
That first line pretty much sums up the game - it's not a complicated premise - but naturally there are subtleties to tell you about. For starters, the co-op focus is key, and it changes up the gameplay loop that you'll know and love if you're a fan of Dennaton's pixelated murder-fest(s). Whereas in Hotline Miami, when you die, it's an almost instantaneous restart from the start of the floor you're on, in God's Trigger your co-op buddy has a limited amount of time to revive you. Failing that, it's back to the last checkpoint for both of you, although it's not too punishing as the levels are sectioned off, and you don't have to restart the whole thing every time you die.
OneMoreLevel's top-down shooter offers quick-fire action, with its two hero characters - the angelic Harry and the demonic Judy (two very unassuming names if you ask us) - working together to save the world from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. No pressure, then. This mismatched pair has to coordinate their attacks, with players bursting into packed rooms through different entrances and taking down their individual targets lest both of you bite a literal/proverbial bullet. The action is snappy, mistakes are punished severely, but there are plenty of opportunities to pull off synchronised attacks with lots of flair.
The two leading characters have supernatural powers that evolve over the course of the game, although during our one level demo we didn't really get to see much of this side of the game. Harry the angel and his devilish counterpart, Judy, both unlock these powers over the course of their mission to stop the Horsemen, but we're not sure exactly what these abilities might be beyond those that were teased when we went hands-on with the game after its announcement at Gamescom. Expect blink-like movement, powerful limited-range attacks, and other magical tricks to flesh out your more traditional options.
Speaking of options, when you're not utilising your supernatural powers, you'll be picking up weapons off of the floor, or if you're feeling really saucy, smashing your opponents with one-hit melee attacks. Enemies will make a beeline to you as soon as they're aware of your presence, and they've got a pretty good aim too, so you have to be aware of who you're attacking, what they're carrying, and then use that knowledge to plan your attacks accordingly; there's no point going into a room of heavily armed henchmen if all you're carrying is a baseball bat.
It's the focus on co-op that really made God's Trigger fun to play. Coordination, trash talking your partner's failures, celebrating your collective successes; it adds a new dimension to the Hotline-like experience. Naturally, it's best experienced with your co-op partner by your side, but publisher Techland promised online co-op will also be supported. They also plan on delivering a single-player mode, but given the two-character setup, we can't imagine it's going to be much fun playing it that way (it's "co-op first" after all).
Importantly, the controls felt accurate and responsive, and once we got into the groove, while we were still dying fairly regularly, we were weaving through attacks, blasting our way out of trouble, and saving our co-op buddy time and time again (just as he did for us). God's Trigger is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One early next year, and for Hotline Miami fans it offers a familiar experience with a fresh twist.