Zombies, guns and heavy metal are cool, so why not pack them all into one game? Double Kick Heroes, an indie game that entered Steam Early Access on April 11, does exactly that.
Much like any other game in Early Access, Double Kick Heroes offers a limited amount of content, with more coming as development continues. Right now, all we have available is the Story mode, Arcade mode, and level editor.
The story mode gives us a large chunk of the game’s campaign. Arcade mode lets us play the levels in order, but without the story and with easier navigation. Finally, the level editor, allows you to create your own levels based on your favorite tracks, as well as play an assortment of pre-made ones.
The gameplay itself is an interesting spin on the rhythm genre. At first, it seems pretty straightforward – you follow along a music track by pressing buttons at the right time, and things happen on the screen while you do so.
In Double Kick Heroes, those things are shooting hordes of zombies with your Gundillac – a heavily armed Cadillac retrofitted for the zombie apocalypse.
The spin on this mechanic is the incorporated shoot-em-up elements that give you more freedom when fighting/shooting the zombies and monsters chasing you.
You can switch between your car’s top and bottom cannons to target specific enemies, and you can also steer the Gundillac to avoid attacks.
The game is also available in five difficulty levels, so even if you’re a metal fan without a sense of rhythm (how do you headbang?), you can still enjoy some good music without too much frustration. The higher difficulties do not only add more enemies and beats to hit, but also add more complex hit-multiplier mechanics and more weapons to use.
The story throws you right into the action and puts you in charge of the metal band Double Kick Heroes – a diverse, colorful bunch of actually interesting individuals.
You have the sarcastic leader Lincoln, the 4th wall-breaking drummer Derek, James the guitarist that can’t help but sing all the time, the happy-go-lucky smart-ass Randie on the bass, and the naive keyboard player Snake.
The campaign is filled with fun dialogue between our heroic musicians (and Derek) and the characters they meet along the way. They talk about everything, ranging from story-related to music related. Everyone in the world of Double Kick Heroes is a metalhead.
And this is definitely a game for metalheads. Sure, there are the gameplay and story, but it’s everything in-between that is tailored especially for metal fans. From the levels, which are all based on different metal subgenres, to the various characters who are mostly parodies of the different types of metal lovers.
Arcade mode works a lot like the story, just without the story part. It’s how you replay levels on higher difficulties and get better at the game. At this time there aren’t many options to customize the levels you play in arcade mode, but it does help you keep track of which levels you beat at which difficulty.
In the future, the game will also feature a level editor which lets you build levels using your own choice of songs. At the moment the feature doesn’t seem to be fully functioning, as it repeatedly crashed on me when I tried using it. That could be patched soon, though.
It comes with a selection of levels made from songs of all kinds of bands, from Metallica through Linkin Park up to Meshuggah. However, you do need to provide the song yourself, probably due to licensing issues. So while the levels exist within the game, you can’t access them if you don’t have a legit copy of the song.
So far Double Kick Heroes looks like a fun and witty game, aimed primarily at metal fans (although I’m sure all types of rock fans will easily enjoy it).
There are still some issues, but I am confident they will be patched out as developer Headbang Club continues to rock this game.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.