Gang Beasts Review

Gang Beasts is a multiplayer beat-em-up game where the goal is to be the last one standing. Colourful gelatinous humanoids run around trying to punch one another in the head and then toss the losers off of skyscrapers, elevators, or Ferris wheels. A lot of the game’s enjoyment comes from seeing how the characters interact physically with their opponents and the environments. A lot of the game’s frustration comes from this too, however, as the game offers little depth past some interesting combinations of controls.

Players can grab onto one another or the environment, and most of the gameplay centres on players trying to knock each other unconscious with punches or kicks so that its easier to then toss them off the stage. The controls are simple and there is depth here, but not much of it. The basic controls are actions like jumping, grabbing, lifting your arms in the air, and headbutting. A few of these controls can be combined to do things like lifting enemies (grabbing + putting your arms in the air) and climbing. At times I felt like I knew exactly what I was doing in Gang Beasts in regards to controlling my character. At other times, I’d end up in a grappling match with a friend’s character where it felt like neither of us were really do anything.

To its credit however, Gang Beasts is not built as a precise combat game. You can tell by its upbeat music, quick rotation of stages, and ridiculous character customization options that Gang Beasts is a game trying to be fun and goofy. On that front, it mostly succeeds. The physics engine is terrific. Its predictable enough so that players can strategize somewhat but it also leaves enough variability that results in some hilarious, unexpected scenarios. The variety of stages is high and the ability to destroy different parts of them is a nice bonus. Different modes like 8-player online matches and matches versus the CPU aren’t a complete surprise, but do add some longevity.

There are some weaknesses found in Gang Beasts and most relate to its depth. Despite the varied stages and colourful characters, the gameplay doesn’t really offer much past punching one another in the head and mashing on your controller so that you get up quicker when you are knocked out. There is enough variety to offer up fun for at least a couple nights but like many games that focus on getting as many people involved as quickly as possible, Gang Beasts wears out its welcome sooner rather than later.

Daniel Podborochynski

A Canadian who loves video games, soccer, sandwiches, reading, cats, dogs, Aphex Twin, bike rides, Fallout, Daft Punk, barbecue, and beer.

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