GamesBeat Slayer and Paradize Project: Zombies or Music? End times in...

Beat Slayer and Paradize Project: Zombies or Music? End times in two different robes

Post-apocalypse: A setting that, whether it’s zombies, crazy androids or natural disasters, is simply never boring for video games. Of course, a wide variety of independent developers with smaller teams have always tried to work on this topic in order to give it a special touch. Here are two of them – Beat Slayer and Paradize Project – that do something very interesting with the end times mood and probably do Next year appear.

Beat Slayer

Mia doesn’t have to do everything alone, because the robots don’t care about their allies. | Image credit: Beat Slayer, Byte Rockers

The studio Byte Rockers from Berlin is working on linking a dystopia with particularly good music. The mixture of this rhythm game with hack-and-slay elements and a pinch of roguelite is particularly exciting. Robots are constantly attacking, and you can slaughter them out of the way with the right rhythm and a fire-breathing axe. In the middle is the mechanic billion, which defends itself against various types of machines with different attacks. Mia can kick, dodge, light or heavy attack as long as she does it on the right beat. If you press the button too early or too late, the mechanic will be unable to act or even suffer damage, depending on the difficulty level set.

Beat Slayer works so well because the beats are always clear. The music also suits the seedy, rebellious atmosphere. Once you have completed a level, Mia can choose a rogue-typical ability that improves her chances of survival. Whether it is an improved attack, more agility or status effects that your ax adds to the opponent is up to you. Of course, these improvements are randomly shuffled, so each playthrough feels like a new experience. The enemy types and enemy attack patterns already seem very mature, while the game is still in the middle of development.

Beat Slayer and Paradize Project: Zombies or Music? End times in two different robes

The story of Beat Slayer is told in a comic. The drawing style fits the mood well. | Image credit: Beat Slayer, Byte Rockers

The style is a unique blend of diesel and steampunk and evokes a bit of nostalgia. The story is told along a comic strip that could have been drawn in chalk, which appropriately leaves a sense of rebellion. This atmosphere is underlined by the level design, which is based on 80s Berlin. It’s exciting to see that the locations in the game represent real places in the capital. Overall, Mia, her ax and the robots have already captivated me, because the speed and the gameplay loop are very reminiscent of Hades, even if the framework is not enriched with as many individual stories about the characters.

ParadiZe Project

Beat Slayer and Paradize Project: Zombies or Music? End times in two different robes

Just don’t think too much. What’s on your zombie’s head may look strange, but there’s a reason for everything. Promised! | Image credit: Paradize Project, Nacon, Eko Software

The game by the French developer Eko Software embodies a completely different atmosphere in contrast to its predecessor. After a zombie apocalypse, the few survivors have finally figured out how to mobilize the living dead for their own purposes, and teaming up with zombies can be surprisingly fun. With the right technology and particularly unusual helmets, you can take two infected people on a journey of discovery through an open world to find out which mad scientist didn’t have his viruses under control this time.

Combat is like a classic twin-stick shooter, with ammo and equipment as its foundation. However, before you can go out into the wide world, you need a secure base. To automate this, you can control other zombies. Here you craft equipment and equip yourself with the right equipment. You can design the two allies you take with you on an exploration tour however you want: melee or ranged fighters, special support or perhaps a healer? However you want your allies, you have to click through numerous options. A zombie can initiate combat, keep a distance, collect certain resources, only use a certain type of weapon, throw themselves in front of you to protect themselves, and so on – depending on your settings. This becomes especially important when you encounter a boss that is a giant zombie elephant.

Beat Slayer and Paradize Project: Zombies or Music? End times in two different robes

You can design your zombie base however you want. But don’t waste too much time on it, because you still have to find a mad scientist. Probably. | Image credit: Paradize Project, Nacon, Eko Software

As much as I like base building and as much as it sounds like survival, the developers openly assure me that Paradize Project focuses on action, progression and story. Although you will collect various items and weapons along the way, don’t expect a system that is too complex for the base. By the way, the twin-stick shooter is also designed to be played with friends. Up to four people can join a group here. Each person can have up to two zombie companions. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to try out the multiplayer myself yet.

Overall I liked the humor and the lightness of the Paradize Project and the dynamic day and night rhythm. The skill trees, split into hacking and attacking, also made sense to me. The equipment itself is still a bit busy and immature, but in the version played there were already numerous types of zombies and weapon types, all of which were fun.

The zombie twin-stick shooter is said to be… first quarter of 2024 will be released, but Beat Slayer has no fixed date yet. But keep your eyes open at the next Steam Next Fest in the fall if a musical hack-and-slay makes you curious!

Beat Slayer and Paradize Project: Zombies or Music? End times in two different robes

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