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GDC 2018: Apocalypse Cow Hands-On: It Does A Body Good

This indie game is gonna milk its action for every last drop of thrills and humor it can. 


During GDC there’s a lot of stuff that can fall through the cracks, especially when it comes to the budding indie scene that gets so much love at the annual event. Fortunately for myself (and hopefully others), Apocalypse Cow caught my eye during an ID@Xbox event that happened during the conference. While my hands-on time with the Xbox One version of the game was limited to the length of a brief demo, it was enough to get my attention and hold it.

Apocalypse Cow takes place in Candyworld, a digital environment in a universe full of different games sort of similar to the premise of Wreck-It Ralph. Some uninvited guests show up to ruin the party for everyone and now the main protagonist, a young, very angry girl with blue hair must take on a seemingly endless barrage of heat-packing, face-tattooed gangsters that have taken over her homeworld.

Fortunately, it would seem that despite being a resident of Candyworld, the young hero has a chip on her shoulder and is more than capable of desecrating her enemies with visceral savagery using weapons like a Kill Bill-inspired katana or your classic bazooka. She also has the ability to slow down time, which comes in handy when taking on a seemingly overwhelming number of gang-bangers.

Most of the combat areas felt like physics puzzles that could involve some time manipulation, but I still found it fairly easy to grind my way through choke points with aggressive violence. There was one mini-boss fight where I had to slow down time in order to get behind the enemy’s shield and shoot them in the back to defeat them, so I would be surprised if there weren’t more mechanics along those lines further down the game.

While I wasn’t able to experience everything Apocalypse Cow had to offer during my short demo, it made an immediate positive impression on me with its contrast of vibrant Candy Crush colors and desecrated towns full of debris. I’m definitely looking forward to getting a better lick of this lollipop as it gets closer to launch, especially the co-op mode that I didn’t get a chance to check out at GDC.

Apocalypse Cow doesn’t have a release date just yet, but is set to launch on Xbox One and PC later this year.

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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