PAX East 2018 – The Messenger

PAX East 2018 – The Messenger

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Platformers have been grabbing my attention lately as they seem simple enough, but push the boundaries of the concept and implement their own element that make them great. And for The Messenger by Sabotage Studio, they do just that and beyond for their first title.

The Messenger has you play a ninja that’s been tired of the same old routine of training for when something might happen to the village. Making it late to training yet again, a demon army invades his village. When an legendary ninja arrives to keep off the demons, he gives the protagonist a scroll with a mission to deliver the message.

The gameplay from the demo was swift and nimble. Right when you grab the controls you feel how fast you can run through each area of the level. Jumping to attacking items to keep you in the air to reach the next platform is excellent. And earning more equipment like climbing gloves to grab and scale walls expand the range on how to play. And other tools not available in the demo like the rope dart or the wingsuit will change up gameplay and how you fight enemies as well. And featuring a skill tree also, which is less familiar in platformers too. Upgrading how you jump, ran and more as you progress through the game.

The most interesting part about this game that makes this game stand out is the looks for the game. The amount of detail put into each enemy and the environments you play through show there’s thought put into every asset. Sprite designs are original and memorable for those who play. But the big game changer in The Messenger is later in the game’s story, the player reaches a point where the 8-bit graphics change to 16-bit. A total upgraded look to everything. It’s insane seeing the difference, and grabs your interest even more to see what’s different in the game’s world.

And just like the game’s graphics, the music is equally enjoyable. Created by Rainbowdragoneyes, the quick and rapid beats for each level is energetic. Overall influences the gameplay as you progress. And just like when the graphics enhance, so does the game’s soundtrack. 8-bit is based on NES, then the change to 16-bit brings the music to SEGA Genesis.

Speaking with Sabotage Studio Co-Founder Thierry Boulanger about what other content could be coming to The Messenger prior to release, he responded with:

We do want to add a speedrun mode to the game, speedrunners  can run through this game without touching the ground and i’s cool to see. But we’ll have to see how the game is received before we put more content into it.

The messenger will be available for the Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.