Joe Danger : The Movie Preview
Joe Danger : The Movie feels great to play. No wait, scratch that. Joe Danger makes me feel great when I play it. Even stood amongst 60,000 jostling gamers at this years Gamescom I Immediately find myself swept up in its charm and I come away struck by the balance developers Hello Games have near perfected with their next downloadable title. Realise that in Joe Danger you might win some challenges, you’ll loose plenty too. But you’ll never feel like you’re failing.
Strip down the game to its core elements you’re presented with an arcade style racing game, where we are challenged with simply getting our protagonist Joe (seen above), safely from point A to point B on his chosen mode of transport, avoiding various obstacles as you go. Where that great feeling I mentioned comes from is the imagination and flamboyance Hello Games wraps that simple premise in.
Joe, the character, remains as charming in his body language and reactions to our slip ups as ever. Not content with being a simple motorcycle daredevil (as in the first game) he now sees himself as an, albeit bumbling, Hollywood stuntman. The most notable and immediate change to the series is the inclusion of multiple vehicles. Where as Joe rode his motorcycle exclusively throughout the first game we now see him attempt to also master mine carts, skis, snowmobiles and jet-packs. I wondered if simply adding more vehicles to the series would be enough to sustain a sequel, yet each mode of transport brings with it its own rhythm and style. On skis Joe feels quick and light, off jumps I seem to soar through the air whilst in the Mine cart I am given a sense of weight, barrelling down tracks and through tight loops.
Unique vehicles call for unique environments and here once again Hello Games seems to be flexing their creative muscles. The bright, cartoon like visuals now not only make Joe come alive but the entire screen. The obstacles Joe has to clear or targets Joe has to hit (A Russian Warhead in one instance) over the course of these levels are pleasingly difficult without seeming impossible. A simple, single touch of a button allows you to quickly jump back into the action before a mishap took place and focus on what you are doing right, rather than feeling punished for what you are doing wrong.
I’m playing a game mere days after its public announcement and already apparent are the hints at nuanced game-play improvements over it’s predecessor. Dynamic courses giving subtle changes each time a level is played. Local multi-player modes that go beyond simple races. User generated content in the shape of our own levels that we can construct and share with Joe Danger : The Movie players around the world. Speaking to Hello Games I get the sense, as they throw around ‘what if’ scenarios for this new Joe Danger game, that they are as excited to make the game as I am to play it. And that feels, great.
- Nick Tonks.