Joe Danger - Preview

   29/10/2009 at 09:20       Phil May       9 COMMENTS.
 - Joe Danger, Hello Games, 360, PS3, PC
Trials HD rehab was tough...

It took weeks of nagging from my other half to cure me of the obsessive-compulsive habit of trying to shave a few seconds off my track times in Trials. Just as I'm going through cold turkey for Trials, it seems a small handful of developers, collectively known as Hello Games, want to get me hooked on something similar yet distinctly different enough to make my eyes pop.

After various mumblings from Eurogamer Expo visitors whispering "You MUST play this game" I was prompted to go off and have a bit of a look at the game people were calling "a heady mix of Trials HD, the 2D Sonic games and Excitebike".

One look at Joe Danger's visuals and you're left in no doubt that this is a perfect way to describe this bonkers 2D / 3D mix of stunts, time trials and platform puzzling.

Hello Games have an impressive pedigree, with staffers having flown the coup from Criterion Games, Kuju, Sumo Digital and Zoe Mode. Most gamers will have played some of the games these guys have previously been involved with, Burnout and Black being two notables.

Coming soon for PC, 360 and PS3, Joe Danger takes its inspiration from classic toys like the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle and blue-sky-gaming classics like Super Monkeyball, with inevitable comparisons made with Trials HD. Joe Danger throws a lot more into the mix than just the quest to get from one end of the screen to the other, with points awarded for stylish bonus stunt moves as well as the collection of various goodies scattered throughout each level.

Visually the game is stunning to look at with larger-than-life cartoon bikes and characters making the game feel like someone took one look at what Sega did in the late 90s / Early noughties, ate a whole bag of lime sherbet then hit the drawing board to come up with the visuals.

What could be the making of the game is the editor. Hello Games are promising full editor support in the final game, and a lot of levels actually require you to tinker with their layouts to ensure you hoover up the maximum points and times from each. Being able to custom-build your own bonkers setups in Joe Danger should make the game an essential purchase for friends-list challenges.

Multiplayer doesn't end with online high score tables and track sharing either. Full multiplayer combat modes have been shoehorned into the game to give players the chance for some side-on Road Rash VS battles. Time challenges a la Trials HD will also be hotly contested online.

First glimpse seems to indicate that four guys have managed to come up with something that could end up as the sleeper hit of the year (probably 2010 as the game's still not had a final release date confirmed yet).

We'll be following this one very closely indeed but for now, hop on over to Hello Games rather excellent website for more bits and bobs on the game and the guys behind it.
User Comments:

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Tiger_Walts - on 29/10/2009 at 10:40 wrote:
The editor didn't seem to be 'fully functional'. You could only edit on one lane rather than the three lanes in the stock levels. You could jump right from editing to racing and back instantly though which helps you tweak those obstacles more efficiently.

DDevil - on 29/10/2009 at 10:42 wrote:
Yeah, I really enjoyed playing this at the EG Expo. It is a lot of fun, nowhere near as punishing as Trials though, especially as you have a large amount of control in the air.

It reminded me of Excitebike as well, with the 3 layered stages (although you can't swap between them at will) and all the jumps.

Plus I got a couple of Hello/Joe Danger badges off them, so it's all good :-)

peej - on 29/10/2009 at 10:48 wrote:
Apologies for the borked thumb, the CMS don't love me long time this morning nor does FTP access :( Ahhh fixed now. Phew.

Definitely my type of game, and if you can leap straight from the editor to racing or testing like you could with Trials HD then I'm even more excited about this.

Tiger_Walts - on 29/10/2009 at 12:51 wrote:
Aw, I want a badge! They must have run out :(

peej - on 29/10/2009 at 12:57 wrote:
Trying to scrape up some footage of the game but nothin' doin. I guess no one's youtubed their exploits from the Expo?

Kay - on 29/10/2009 at 13:03 wrote:
I wasn't that big a fan of Trials HD, but this looks and sounds fantastic. Love the Monkey Ball-esque visuals. I'm guessing this will be for XBLA/PSN?

peej - on 29/10/2009 at 13:06 wrote:
Hello Games have said they're aiming for a release on those first, with PC to follow over Steam or somesuch.

Love the visual style too. Like the sort of stuff Sega used to do in the late 90s / early 00s

kentmonkey - on 02/11/2009 at 23:20 wrote:
If this is 800pts and not 1200pts, it's bought. I'm getting a bit fed up of 1200pt games though (very few are worth that amount, Trials, Shadow Complex and Braid being the only ones).

peej - on 03/11/2009 at 09:56 wrote:
I'd go 1200 points for this. If the game justifies it, 1200 points isn't too bad. Along with the ones you mentioned KM, I'd add Battlefield 1943 to the list of games that were worth that.

Death Tank though. Fucking hell, I still don't know how they had the utter barefaced cheek to charge 1200 for that.

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