To generalize at first glance and consider God’s Trigger another “Hotline Miami clone” would be a disservice. Now don’t get me wrong, Hotline Miami is a classic but God’s Trigger is very much a progression in the shoot ‘em up genre. You play as Harry, a soldier of heaven and Judy, an escapee from hell. The two team up to battle against the four horsemen and stop the apocalypse. I will not be going into depth on the story and in turn focus on the game mechanics and gameplay.
God’s Trigger offers the ability to play the campaign via local co-op or solo. During my time with the game, I played solo and with the click of a button, I could switch between the two characters. Each character offers up his / her own unique setup of weapons & skills. Harry is equipped with a short-range sword and as I progressed, I was able to pick up additional weapons from fallen enemies such as various gun types. There are destructible items in almost every area which could contain additional ammo and other useful items.
I would like to mention that I was playing on PC using an Xbox one controller and once I picked up a gun it was auto-assigned as my primary weapon which was designated to the right trigger. My sword remained assigned to the left trigger. Pressing (RB) triggers a dash attack which is great for bursting through doors for surprise attacks. The dash attack can also be used to burst through doors. This feature can only be performed on doors which has a glimmer effect. Bursting through doors also adds an additional combat element, if an enemy is near or about to walk past the door he will be knocked back by the swinging door. If you prefer not to run & gun into every room you can take the stealth approach. By sneaking behind an enemy and pressing the (Y) button you can perform a stealth kill.
From the levels, I was allowed to play it was clear that there are always alternative methods on how to deal with enemies. In the bottom right corner, there is a hub which shows equipped weapons and an energy bar. This bar is not Harry or Judy’s health but rather the energy needed to perform a special. As you kill enemies, this energy bar will fill and offer the ability to perform a special. Both characters will obtain multiple specials throughout the campaign. The first special Harry obtains offers invisibility which can be activated by holding in the left stick. The longer you hold the more energy is used. This was useful for getting through areas with lasers or setting up a strategic attack when entering a room with an open doorway. With that said there are some abilities Harry is lacking and that’s were Judy comes in.
Character swap is as simple as pressing the (B) button. Judy’s default weapon is a long-range whip. Instead of the dash attack like Harry, Judy can teleport into areas. Exactly like the glimmer doors, these are glimmer gates. Judy can attack enemies with her whip while on the other side of a glimmer gate or she can teleport into the room. Judy’s first special allows her to mind control an enemy into attacking his comrades. This can also be done while on the other side of a gate which can produce some pretty funny moments.
There are also some interesting game elements which they both share. Besides picking up weapons they can both target enemies prior to entering an area. This feature can be triggered by holding down the (LB), moving the right stick over an enemy and pressing on the right stick. There are also interactive items which both can trigger by pressing the (A) button while on the marker. In one area while just holding down (LB) and moving around the right stick I could look further up ahead and I noticed the room was full of enemies.
I also noticed that in the doorway there was a (hand) icon. Once I entered the room and was detected, I backed out of the room and pressed (A) on the hand marker. This activated a laser which started from the doorway and worked its way up, in turn killing all enemies in the room. And on that note, God’s Trigger is generous with the checkpoints. If I died after clearing a room I would respawn back in the room that I just cleared. This is a great addition and one I’m sure many players will appreciate.
God’s Trigger implements some fun new features to the shoot ‘em up genre and I’m looking forward to spending more time with it when it’s released on April 18th for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.