PAX Hands-On: BattleBlock Theater (XBLA)

It’s 2 a.m., you’re starving and the only thing in the fridge is week-old Chinese food. You know that you shouldn’t eat it, but sustenance is needed. The Behemoth’s current game in development, BattleBlock Theater, is a result of the dreams that followed that late night snack.

I had a chance to catch up with Dan Paladin, the game’s lead designer, and got some hands-on time with the latest build of the game. The game combines the love-hate cooperative gameplay style of Castle Crashers with a puzzle infused platformer.

The hand-drawn environment is filled with traps, obstacles and vehicles, which provide plenty of opportunities for players to work together in total harmony or screw each other over in classic Behemoth style.

In the campaign, players work together to gather jewels and the occasional ball of yarn. The stuff you collect throughout the levels can be used to barter for weapons from your feline captures. A nice addition to the game is the ability for a player that is stuck due to an obstacle to self-destruct and reappear next to their partner with the press of a button.

The tyrannical kitties that hold you hostage employ a number of defensive tactics to thwart your escape from the theater prison. They will engage players in head-on as well as use their arsenal of cannons, lava and electrical bolts, just to name a few. Players choose one of the unique weapons they have acquired along the way as well as classic beat ‘em up punches to KO the cats.

I’m definitely looking forward to digging into this game when it is released and checking out the other modes of play, such as versus.

Paladin also said that they were still adding features to the game, but that it was nearing completion. They haven’t set a date for release yet, but it will be launching on Xbox 360.

Author: John Parie

Contributing Editor Father, husband, gamer, geek, wordsmith and Internet vagabond. Memphis, Tenn. ·

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