Indie studio Wazen’s Assault Spy was released into early access on Steam earlier in May, and it’s already showing the signs of being a pretty good beat ’em up. It’s a fast-paced action game with a hint of comedy. Currently, you play as corporate spy Asaru, who fights with a briefcase (if that doesn’t arouse your business side i don’t know what will), accompanied by ditsy sidekick Kanoko you will be dodging lasers, dashing, running and punching enemies with your briefcase!

One thing I noticed right off the bat is that this game is fast. They built the game on a solid engine, and so in terms of gameplay, there’s a good foundation to build on. You can always tell when you’re playing a work by a fan of the genre, and it really feels like Wazen’s developers are true fans. The game plays like classic action hack’n’slashers like Devil May Cry, albeit a little bit wackier. There’s a lot of running around and fast-paced movement, and you learn to make use of the dash feature if you wanna stay in one piece. Add in double jump and air dash and you have a movement system reminiscent of arena combat titles like Dissidia with the much more precise and fluid combat of DMC.

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It has some nifty features; If you beat up enough baddies, you get Overclock mode, which lets you toughen up and get even more ridiculous. The game realises that, while the genre is fairly common, it has a lot of bells and whistles to get the hang of, so it wisely introduces a training mode. This is a real positive, as you need a space to learn all the features of the combat and get good at it.

It’s not yet complete in this version, the development team is still working on the bosses and the playable mode with Amelia. There are also plans to add elements to the game and adjust the difficulty over time, it does still contain many issues though, the game freezes, characters may stand still, the visuals aren’t pretty and the controls can be horrendous. Hopefully as the updates come out the games visuals will be upgraded, controls will be smoother and some of the major glitches will disappear.

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Assault Spy got another update recently on Steam with some new screenshots. Some of the updates include a new executive area where the terrorists behind the corporate take-over in the game have been hiding. While the enemies have not yet been created, there are some place-holders for players to battle. An epilogue has also been added. Once the final boss is defeated, a cutscene will play and a “clear game flag” will be added to the players’ save file. They will then be returned to the main menu and can start the game over again from the prologue. There is also an option to skip cutscenes that allow you get straight into the action.

There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had with the early access version of Assault Spy, and I expect it will shape up to be a great game. It’s definitely something I’d recommend checking out in the next few months for beat ’em up fans. It is currently due for full release in Autumn 2018.

OVERALL: 8/10 – GREAT

Previewed by Jack Moody.

(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received an early access copy of Assault Spy, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)

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