When opportunity knocks you answer. As soon as Intragames invited me to get some hands on time at Gamescom with Bookbound Brigade, I knew this was a title that I would be very keen to see in action.
The humble Metroidvania, a staple of the disconcerting gamer’s diet for so long now, has taken many guises. Since the genre was formed; a culmination of the exploration of 2D Metroid games and the side scrolling action of the Castlevania franchise, many iterations have come and gone. Bookbound Brigade adds to the array of titles of this nature and stamps it’s own inimitable swagger all over the franchise in the meantime. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the pages of fiction and the worlds in which these stories inhabit.
Bound for glory
As well as the charm that is smothered all over Bookbound Brigade, it also features an interesting game mechanic that utilises your army of eight individual heroes. By working in tandem, and through the utilisation of various formations, you are able to traverse your environments and, as your team grows, new ways to play are unlocked.
Visually, Bookbound Brigade looks every bit as charming as it plays. Little details really bring the world and characters to life, whilst making sure you’re constantly thinking about your surroundings. One such example is the animations of your brigade. As you approach the edge of a ledge, every one of the eight heroes making up your team is individually animated, so if you advance off the ledge, they essentially abseil down the side of the platform. This mechanic is really interesting as it allows an extra amount of levity should you be faced with a perilous pitfall. Whilst scampering for safety, the feet of all of the characters are doing different things, which in motion looks stunning.
Formations play a huge part in progressing in Bookbound Brigade and all offer further choice to proceedings. The standard formation sees your team huddled together in a bit of a mess. It’s fine for the early stages of the game, but you soon notice different obstacles that require switching things up. A gap that can’t be passed in the standard formation might lend itself to a single file approach. Or that pesky boss surrounded by minions won’t look so menacing when you’re party assemble in the column formation and start flicking up said minions into his smug face.
Bookbound Brigade is certainly a title to keep an eye on and, with a release date due later this year, you shouldn’t have long to wait to check it out for yourself.