Is ‘Gang Beasts’ Worth Buying? ($20)

Gang Beasts [official site] is a funny jelly baby beat ‘em up where your one goal is to throw your friends off the map. Simple as that.

This is a review for the Steam (PC) version of the game. Any and all of the following opinions are mine unless quoting another person or otherwise stated.

Back in 2014 when Boneloaf released the game into its free ‘pre-alpha’ stage, I had some friends over to play it and we have a great laugh. It had a few maps like a ferris wheel, moving trucks that you can leap to and from, a wrestling ring, a gondola and a couple of others for us to attempt to kick the living daylights out of each other in, which us psychopaths found very enjoyable. Now it’s 2016 and games are moving along, getting larger and adding more content. Except for Gang Beasts.

Of course it has progressed and isn’t exactly as it was, it just hasn’t progressed much. There are now a handful of new levels, a new ‘waves’ mode and – very strict – character customisation. Come on guys, it’s been over two years and we’ve still not got online multiplayer!

The game itself is still good fun, especially with a few mates round who have a sense of humour and enjoy running around throwing you off buildings. You can still chase each other with your hands waving about in the air, shadows cast from the fiery light of the incinerator. ‘Still’ isn’t the word you want to hear, though, when it’s been worked on for two years and when you’ve tossed $20 to the game’s developer, expecting something worth that money. Even if it’s in Early Access.

There are currently sixteen maps, roughly half of which were in the ‘pre-alpha’ version of the game and have been slightly (if at all) altered. They are good maps that suit the style of the game and can be manipulated to get an advantage over your friends, such as ropes that hold platforms which can be snapped and planks that can be picked up to disable access to a certain area. There is a bug in a map called ‘Wheel’ where the camera refuses to focus on all characters at once, but besides that the levels are great.

‘Waves’ is a gamemode where you and your friends team up against hordes of relentless zombie-like beings and attempt to make it through without being knocked out and having your unconscious body tossed off a dauntingly tall building. There is only one map in this mode and you win when you complete wave ten. The amount of zombies corresponds to the wave number, where on the first wave there is one, the second wave brings two, third wave three and so on. It’s sometimes a struggle when you play by yourself but when there’s more than one of you it isn’t much of a challenge. If you could just send wave after wave of never-ending zombies that would justify the name more, ten isn’t nearly enough.

The character customisation is somewhat lacking. There are a small range of suits and costumes for your character, such as a fox, a dinosaur, a chicken, overalls and general work attire. There is also the ability to change your character’s colour. Those two factors are pretty much it, nothing else.

Two years later and it has retained most of its previous charm, but it’s been two years and not a lot has changed. It’s still good fun, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone pay $20 for it.

👎 Gang Beasts is NOT worth the US$20 it is available for.