I don't really understand what people mean when they say they are tired of retro 2D pixel art in their games. That statement covers such a wide swath of eras and platforms to draw inspiration from. Are you tired of cartoony graphics reminiscent of the SNES? How about minimalist block men that were inspired by the singular style of games Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery? There are so many specifics to get into that just saying the entire style is tired is ludicrous, especially when there are plenty of inspirations that haven't yet gotten their modern due.
Enter Atomic Butcher: Homo Metabolicus. This is a 2D action platformer that cares deeply about viscera. Its world is one of intricately detailed nastiness—a bleak future where the next stage of human evolution is a mutated "weapon of mass digestion." The titular butcher, sporting nothing but a dirty apron, must venture through this wasteland in search of greater and greater supplies of fresh meat.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBkte09iIi0
I'm not usually someone who is taken in by the type of excessive gore and poop jokes that Atomic Butcher is proud to peddle. What I am always impressed by is slick art design, and this game has that in spades. Its style is ultra-detailed, reminding me of Life Force and Alien Crush. In fact, this game wouldn't look out of place on the TurboGrafx-16, which has one of the more bizarre libraries of all retro consoles.
Atomic Butcher currently has a demo listed on their website, and the game's attention to detail goes far beyond just the interesting visuals. The gameplay is fast paced, with satisfying gunplay and precise aiming. When you're out of ammo, your radioactive urine will have to suffice, cutting down shambling creatures and electrified foes. Or, if you'd rather, you can chuck rocks, guns, and corpses around at your leisure. For something that is listed as a "pre-alpha," it is surprisingly playable, and someone with tolerance for this style of disgusting humor could find a lot to like here.
The demo's presentation was also surprisingly fun. It has a few touches of DOOM here and there, with an end of level stats screen and a rocking soundtrack to back your every move. The game also calls out streaks of successive kills, encouraging quick action and rewarding deft players. When I originally covered the game, I expected it to be a graphics showpiece that stumbled in the gameplay and execution. Instead, Atomic Butcher turns out to be a game that can deliver on all fronts, and I really enjoyed my time with it.
Atomic Butcher: Homo Metabolicus is currently working its way through Steam Greenlight, so head over and hit the thumbs up if you've tried the demo and would like to see more from this pudgy protagonist and his nightmare inducing future. You can also follow along with development on the game's Twitter, where they share photos from conventions and new enemy designs.
What do you think of Atomic Butcher? Are you all for the more gross aspects of their game? Let us know in the comments below!
If you know of a game that is currently working its way through Greenlight, feel free to send us some info at [email protected] , and we might just feature it on the next To The Green!