E3 2011: Gamma World: Alpha Mutation – it’s about time someone licensed this awesomely wacky RPG

Seriously, we’ve had D&D games for decades. Where has this been?

In what we assume is publisher Atari’s effort to conserve paper, yet another beloved pad and paper RPG is being turned into a video game. This time around it’sGamma World, and the video game iteration has a lot of potential. The game is a third-person shooter with the same setting as the original TSR game: a post-apocalyptic world ripe with tongue-in-cheek humor and everything from androids to talking trees to mutant animals carrying handguns. Visually, it resembles Borderlands, both in its use of cel-shading and its comic book style cut scenes, though its nowhere near as polished just yet.

To create your player character, you choose any two of six different options. For example, our character was a radioactive man combined with a yeti, which gave us a about the closest video game representation of Manbearpig there is (android and cockroach are two of the other possible choices). Each type has its own advantages; ours could poison enemies and swipe them with his claws. This functions well and guarantees a bit of replayability to explore other character abilities.

There are a number of different weapons as well, including unique and powerful Omega Tech weapons created by a mysterious manufacturer. Gamma World also features a crafting system in the game similar to Fallout 3, but less extensive. With this comes a lot of loot, both found on dead enemies and lying around the game. Enemy AI leaves some to be desired, as they wouldn’t always pursue the character, but this problem was acknowledged by developers during our playthrough.

Both split screen and online co-op has been promised, and the team at Atari is still working on hopefully including four player online co-op. As a bite-sized PSN and XBLA title, Gamma World: Alpha Mutation is set to weigh in at an appropriate ten hours. We’re pleased with what we’ve seen so far and are hungry for more. Release is slated for Fall 2011.

Jun 17, 2011

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