It’s difficult to emphasize just how cheesy God’s Trigger, a top-down shooter, gets during my time with the preview. If God’s Trigger were food, it would be a plate full of nachos ordered from a bar at 3 a.m. If God’s Trigger were a person, it would be someone whose favorite book is the movie adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The heroes speak entirely in quips, I hunt down a demon in guise of a movie star who has a host of stunt devils, and the action is quick, brutal, and theatrical.
God’s Trigger stars Harry and Judy, an angel and demon, respectively, who murder their way through a ridiculous world. Their motivations essentially begin and end at “Earth-ending apocalypses are bad”, and since one is on the way, they decide it’s easier to team up than tackle the Four Horsemen apart. I can freely switch between Harry and Judy, or I can play local co-op with my husband where we each take control of one character. It’s a two-player take on Hotline Miami, and it works despite the chaos on-screen.
Harry comes equipped with a sword and a dash that can tear open certain walls. Judy uses an infernal chain that lashes out from a distance and a blink that lets her pass through barriers. Each has pros and cons; Harry’s powers are geared toward him controlling the area around him with abilities like invisibility and time freeze, while Judy sows chaos from a distance with mind control and gravity wells. Over time, I level them up and equip new perks while upgrading my existing kit.
One of the levels from the preview goes like this. I take Judy and use her to mind control an explosives expert in the middle of a cluster of enemies. He throws a dynamite down and after a brief pause, mulches everyone in the area of effect. I blink past the pile of ground meat I’ve just generated, stunning everyone around me, and use my upgraded infernal chain to whip through two dudes. I snatch a weapon up from the ground as another wave of bad guys comes around the corner and spray ballistic damage at them.
I advance through another chokepoint. A goon throws a stick of dynamite at me and I wait for the timer to pop, then just as the fatal damage radiates I hit the button and switch to Harry, cancelling out the damage from the frame of invulnerability. An enemy has taken control of a Maxim gun, so I toggle on Harry’s invisibility and easily avoid the bullet fire, dash behind the guy, and stab him too.
Sure, this took several dozen tries to perfect, but it feels amazing to pull off. Most importantly, God’s Trigger makes failure painless. A single button prompt puts me immediately back into the game, and the checkpoint system is forgiving compared to other games in the genre.
God’s Trigger doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but I found the preview’s levels to be suitably fun. Hotline Miami is the game’s most obvious comparison, but the in-game art style is reminiscent of Borderlands, and the abilities (plus the local co-op) bring Diablo to mind. Unlike the Hotline Miami games or The Hong Kong Massacre, God’s Trigger just goes ahead and embraces how ridiculous the action of its genre is, then puts a trenchcoat and pair of shades on it.
God’s Trigger is due out on Apr. 18 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.