I love comics, and I miss the times when owning physical comic books wasn’t super nerdy. Like I have a box full of some awesome comics that I just hide in my spare closet because if I put them on my bookshelf…well they’d be the only books on my shelf and I’ll never get laid again. Comics are one of the best art forms in all of media, and they’re criminally underrated. There’s some that are considered by many the “Mount Rushmore” of comics, but that’d be like saying the “Mount Rushmore” of art; you just can’t contain it because there’s so many sub-genres. For example, if you were going to talk strictly about superhero comics, that’s easy. Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke, and The Dark Knight Returns are for sure in the top 5 of any list. But then, you have non-superhero comics like Maus, which explores the holocaust from the view of Jewish mice being oppressed by Nazi cats. Then, you have stuff like The Adventures of Tintin and Asterix and Obelix; both wonderful comics for both kids and adults. Then, you have manga, which seems cool until you realize that Asians read from right to left and you’re going to go cross eyed permanently after about 2 pages.
So let’s talk about a game that looks like a comic book:
Numbuh 4: Void Bastards
Created by some of the people behind BioShock and System Shock 2, Void Bastards takes the shooter genre and adds brains. At first look, this seems like a cartoony horror game right? Well, it is, but with a twist. You see these enemies insult you the whole fucking time as you walk through their abandoned space stations. I remember the first time one of these guys politely greeted me with a British accent, and a well thought out “heyyyy fuckfaceeeee”. I laughed as I blew his fucking head into blue gunk and screamed “only my ex gets to call me that you bitch!” (I said that, not my character). The dialogue is one of the many highlights of the game. I really want to meet the person who said “yea, I want to make sure that the enemies are as British and funny as possible. That will sell this game”. And I’m not being sarcastic when I say you should play this game for that alone.
But, if you really want more than just some humorous dialogue, the game is pretty hard for an FPS. And I’m not talking about the bullshit hard types of FPS games where you’re shooting overcooked peas at Ultra Form Zeus as he runs at you with the speed of a cheetah with his dual wielding missile launcher arms. No this is a different type of difficulty. Your character is randomly given to you with some unique trait like anxiety or overconfidence, and you have to find and scavenge your way through the abandoned starfield to complete objectives. The twist is, if you die, that character is dead and you have to start at the beginning of the starfield all over again. There’s a bit of hope since you get transferred most of what the previous character collected, but this permadeath feature forces you to be strategic with not only your travel, but your ammo. Ammo is extremely scarce, as are fuel and food. You may have to loot a few menial ships just to have the power to take on a bigger ship. Or, like me, you may just sprint as far as you can and face a hopeless challenge as big boys and space pirates wander the ship as you pray to God that you can grab just some fuel and food and leave. It’s extremely addictive, and very replayable.
Void Bastards is available on Xbox and PC. C’mon fuckface, go try it out.