Arriving at the Indie Polish gaming booth at gamescom 2017, I checked out a few games and one that I was instantly drawn to was Nightwolf: Survive the Megadome from developers CyberPho.
Set in an alternative post-apocalyptic future of the '80s, you are put in the role of an ex-cop on a mission of vengeance to hunt and kill those who took his family. While that’s the description of the story, the game itself, from what I played, was all about the game’s Megadome. Much in the same vein as the classic PS1 game, Vigilante 8 or even Twisted Metal; Nightwolf is pure adrenaline-infused retro vehicular combat.
The Megadome is the main vehicular combat arena, think Mad Max’s Thunderdome, but with souped up retro cars surrounded by glistening neon lights. This is one of the reasons for my interest, being a fan of the '80s styled synthwave driven, electronic alternative futures, Nightwolf certainly caught my attention.
The pre-alpha build I had played placed me right into the action with a wave-based arena of carnage. The objective was simple: drive, destroy and get the crowd riled up, pent up with excitement. As you drive along, you’re geared up with basic machine guns, health and armour pools, and nitro.
Nightwolf tasks you not only survive the Megadome but also keep the crowd excited. Taking down the barrage of vehicles there to hunt you down is but one way of keeping the excitement, but it doesn’t stay maintained long enough, so you can’t stay idle. The HUD shows how excited the crowd is, acting like your timer if too low it’s game over.
Showmanship is a necessary evil in Nightwolf, you have to take advantage of your nitro-boosted vehicle of slaughter, by driving through the Megadom madly jumping across ramps and by collecting random weapon drops for that stylish explosive kill.
Enemies will try to hunt you down as the waves progress, and soon it’ll become increasingly more difficult to stay alive. With that said, the challenge becomes more of a balancing act. Plowing through enemy vehicles, varied as they are, wasn’t difficult, it was the act of keeping the crowd riled that hit me back. You really need to keep on driving and causing havoc to survive.
After a few rounds, I was rather enjoying my time with Nightwolf. Still, it’s early days for the indie team at CyberPho. The build was pre-alpha and at this point, everything aside from the aesthetics and the vehicular combat could change. Visually, however, the game is rather simplistic, with flat textures and low-polygon models, it’s the style that drives it home.
Plus, the music is always worth checking out. I see neon, I see '80s style retro I think, what’s the soundtrack going to be? Fortunately, for CyberPho they’re right on the money with NIGHTRUN87 doing the music.
No release date as of yet, but developers are pushing towards a 2018 release.