I have been taking a first look at the pre alpha version of Buck by Wave Interactive on steam. Buck is currently on kickstarter with 22 days to go, so feel free to take a look at the link below and see for yourselves.
Now before I get into any details I really want to highlight that this game is still pre-alpha so there is still a long way to go before it is a polished title to the standards most gamers expect.
So what is Buck? Its a Metroidvania-style game where you play as Buck, a motorcycle garage mechanic who decides to leave everything behind to find the truth behind the disappearance of a girl. Buck struggles to adjust himself to a world he doesn't fully understand. Traverse the wasteland while fighting and talking your way though junkyards, mountain passes, ghost towns and survivor outposts. As the game progresses, Buck gradually pieces together the reasons that brought this world, and its rugged inhabitants, to their knees...
That covers the developer's description of the game, now for my opinions. I really like the art style, and the games graphics are hand drawn and really capture the post apocalyptic noir of the world and bring it to life, think mad max, but with bipedal animals, at night. Also as you travel through the world bucks exploits are narrated by a vulture who advised him to abandon his search for the girl in the opening fmv. This, I enjoyed as a way to expand on Buck's history and feelings about the world.
Before I go much further I should point out that I am mainly a console gamer and played the game on steam with no controller support. My keyboard skills are rusty at best and just plain atrocious at worst. As such, I found it extremely difficult to progress very far into the game at all. I couldn't even beat the first chapter or even progress very far through the first area. This was really frustrating as I was really interested in the setting of the game and very interested to try out the weapon customisation and see how the story progressed.
Now before I get into the game play itself I again want to reiterate this demo is still pre-alpha and as such still has some pretty sizeable bugs and issues. The controls are currently a bit unresponsive and only firearms combat has been implemented in the current build, however the control options do have place holders for light and heavy melee attacks. This combined with my keyboard abilities made even the basic enemies a real challenge to fight. Also every so often my character or the enemies would get stuck to one side of the screen or just off the screen. I even managed to fall through the game world a couple of times. This all combined to create a very real wall that prevented me from getting past even the first handful of enemies in Old Town the games first real level. Possibly if the melee combat had been implemented the enemies would have been a bit easier to deal with when they get in your face.
Final thoughts, the game seems interesting and I would love to find out more about the world and it's characters. However the current build issues (it's pre-alpha, I mentioned that right) combined with my lacklustre abilities with a keyboard have created a pretty insurmountable challenge, so I'll have to wait to see how the game play improves as it develops. Why not try out Buck for yourselves, visit the kickstarter and try out the demo on steam. Now I will leave you with Wave Intercative's Promo Video for Buck from Kickstarter, enjoy.