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.
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