As a somewhat idiotic child, I used to play with toys, and not computer games so much when I was a kid. I’m talking ugly little plastic things that I could dictate around the grey carpet of my room, forging relationships, arguments that led to death and bringing new life into the world through miraculous and sudden child birth! Oh, it was glorious, actually. Sometimes, when I was feeling particularly daring, I would allow the toys to acknowledge my existence and then they’d get mad and make to running rampant over me like big ants, eventually killing me. I’d probably lay there for about two minutes (still secretly manipulating them) as they stood over the corpse of a giant, celebrating their victory and new found freedom. Then I’d get up because mum had just called me down for tea and I knew it would include potato waffles.
Remembering times like these remind me that I was probably born to be a god of some kind, or at least a titan able to manipulate the very structures that nature is comprised of, and this is why Abbey Games’ Reus is all a bit exciting. Plus, look at the damn thing; it’s rather pretty.
This comes from the development kitchens of yet another promising Dutch studio (see Vlambeer and Ostrich Banditos for the others) and that means, from my experience, that it’s something magical and illustrious. Reus is both of those things in my mind, and I decided such a thing after watching the new gameplay video, which is what you should also be doing and can live out that fantasy by scrolling down further. Go on; this god commands that you do!
Force Of Nature
Imagine stepping outside, breathing in the fresh air and being greeted by a huge face as you look towards the blue (grey if you’re in the UK) skies. Reus is a little different from most god games, as it places you not in the ubiquitous position of being a formless entity, but instead you control a titan – or a range of titans, I should say. So far we’ve seen three of the great big things, and each of them seem to have different functions. The rocky one creates mountains; the wooden guy must have something to do with vegetation and the crabby fella seems to create water on your demand. The titans actually sit behind the malleable part of the world, and as it’s quite small to them, you can just sidescroll to go around it.
As you bring life to the world with your resource creation, humans will emerge and begin to prosper – the better you can look after them, the more you’ll advance. Presumably this means that you’ll gain new powers and be able to create more exciting elements. One of the more interesting aspects of the game is that you can give the villages different types of resources for them to make use of. The developers give examples such as fruit trees, gold veins and medicinal herbs. These all have different effects – growing larger, getting rich and advancing technology, respectively.
“Something that really kickstarted the birth of the game was the giant, and how it also represented the world. Wouldn’t it be awesome to control a titan as such, and model the landscapes to your liking?”
Of course, not everything can go well with these pesky humans. If you cause them to grow too fast, then they’ll start getting a bit cocky. Basically, certain civilizations will start to wage wars with each other to gain more land and power. Apparently this species are irresponsible and greedy, the curs! When this happens, and it seems like it will at some point, you’ll then have to use the titans to punish the humans and remind them who’s in charge. There’s a number of ways to go about this, all of them based within your powers of nature, though – hurricanes, rock hurtling, lions, natural disasters and so on.
There’s no release date for Reus yet, but it is coming to PC, at least. Now it’s time to watch that gameplay video; go on, then!