30XX, the sequel to the indie hit 20XX, is a Mega Man influenced rogue like that adds a unique twist on the formula. On the PAX East show floor on Thursday, we got some hands on time with the game. This go around are a bunch of new features, a fresh new art style and local and online co-op multiplayer for up to two people. You can choose between either Nina, who is the ranged choice or Ace who’s the more melee oriented character.
We got to sit down with one of the developers who ran us through the game and all of it’s new features. Below is our impressions of game in it’s current build.
A standard run, gameplay wise consists of eight randomized stages, each with it’s own boss. In each stage, you can find power-ups and their version of currency which you can spend on power-ups in between levels. In this particular mode, death is permanent. When you die, it’s over and you have to begin a new run. This is a rogue-like so some powers and abilities will stay .
Both Ace and Nina have unique power ups that they can use. Over 80 new items are available for Nina and Ace. Some items need to be unlocked first before they show up during your runs. And some items will synergize with other items to create new effects and powers. Also new to 30XX are repros, cybernetic familiars which provide additional skills and synergize with your power-ups. Multiple repros can be acquired and utilized too. So you could have a massive chain of robot owls, mini computers and more that juice up your character into an unstoppable force.
In an effort to appeal to a wider audience, Mega Mode is a less stress option that eschews the permadeath mechanic and roguelike randomization in favor of a more structured run, which they call a dive. Levels are static in this mode; they are the same each time you attempt them. If you die, you’ll be sent back to your home base where you can upgrade your character and choose another stage if you wish.
The graphical style has been completely overhauled from 20XX. Listening to critics of the style of the previous game, 30XX adopts a more pixel art style and it’s better for it. Levels come alive with wonderfully detailed worlds, multi-layered parallax backgrounds and intricate character and enemy animations. The soundtrack, what we got to sample at least, is quite fitting to the art style and takes notes from classic Mega Man games. High energy, bright, colorful tracks orchestrate your runs as you play. Definitely a high note of our time with the game.
New in 30XX is the level creator. Very similar in scope and features to Mario Maker, the level creator here allows for a wide variety of tools to create your own custom levels. All of the tools the developers used to create the various levels are available to you the player. Even some new options too. Levels can be as easy or difficult as you’d like, expansive Metroidvania creations or more streamlined affairs with a clear exit. The creative choices on hand are quite wide. Levels can be tagged with certain keywords so your level can be found easier by other players searching for a specific experience. I believe a rating system will be implemented for the full release so the best levels should rise to the top.
All in all, 30XX is a bigger, more expansive, action adventure rogue-like with some epic new features that should excite speedrunners and creators alike. Check out the trailer below and the website for more info.