One step be­yond

Bombs away Pix­el­bomb Games go fu­ture-retro with Be­yond Flesh and Blood, its am­bi­tious third-per­son shooter that brings one of Eng­land’s ma­jor cities into the mix

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation News -

It was a chal­lenge to take el­e­ments of Manch­ester and re­design them to be an over­grown wilder­ness

In­die game devel­oper Pix­el­bomb Games is on a mis­sion to put Manch­ester on the gam­ing map, start­ing with its de­but third­per­son shooter, Be­yond Flesh and Blood.

The game is set in a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic Manch­ester, af­ter war has sav­aged the planet. “We wanted to take the whole ex­pe­ri­ence back to the raw and vi­o­lent style of 80s and 90s ac­tion films,” re­veals art di­rec­tor Steven DeSykes. “The Pix­el­bomb Games team is heav­ily in­flu­enced by sci-fi, movies, Ja­panese anime and re­lated games,” ex­plains pro­ject leader Lee Black­lock. “So for the feel of Be­yond Flesh and Blood we looked at a va­ri­ety of source ma­te­rial,” says Steven, “in­clud­ing a huge li­brary of 80s and 90s sci-fi and ac­tion movie clas­sics such as Robocop and Ter­mi­na­tor.”

The in­hab­i­tants of Earth are hos­tile an­tag­o­nists, while the player takes the role of one of the im­pe­rial sur­vivors who live on a nearby space sta­tion, a mil­i­tary force known as the United Global Rem­nant.

Con­cept artist Ma­rina Ortega took in­spi­ra­tion from Manch­ester it­self where, she says, “There’s a clash of ar­chi­tec­ture styles: old Vic­to­rian build­ings co­ex­ist with new, al­most fu­tur­is­tic ar­chi­tec­tures.” The team drew in as much of the city as they could. “If a game is set in the UK, it’s a sug­ges­tion of Lon­don with a few red phone boxes and Big Ben,” laments Lee. “It was a chal­lenge to take el­e­ments of Manch­ester and re­design them to be an over­grown wilder­ness, sim­i­lar to present-day Ch­er­nobyl.”

You can get a feel for the game by vis­it­ing

In the game the player pilots Tac­ti­cal Com­bat Frames – the mechs – re­motely. Whether you’ve been to Manch­ester or not, you get a real sense of the place in the game. “We’re not mak­ing a mech shooter; we’re mak­ing a third-per­son shooter where the main avatar is a mech,” says Lee.

Real-world is­sues in­flu­enced Be­yond Flesh and Blood: dwin­dling

nat­u­ral re­sources, over­pop­u­la­tion and

global war it­self.­yond­fle­shand­blood­

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