Hands-on with Death Trash
Who doesn’t love some good old fashioned low-res pixel art? It gets you right in the nostalgia every time. And that’s what caught my eye about Death Trash. Developed by Stephan Hövelbrinks, Death Trash is a gloriously grotesque action role-playing game set on the planet Nexus. The world is filled with robots, fleshy monsters, and naked old men, but I’ll let Hövelbrinks’ story description provide the context:
Humankind traveled to the stars and settled on the planet Nexus with its ancient secrets of stone and flesh. The machines were installed as protectors, but they were corrupted and brought terror. You are a raider among the ruins of the past. But fate might lead you to the Bleeding Head Oracle, the Evergrowing Heart and towards a war with the machines, giving you the power to mend or destroy.
While the game is still in development and has a ways to go, Death Trash has a working alpha demo that’s an absolute blast. Filled with pixel gore, odd characters and vulgar jokes, Death Trash is brimming with personality. But I’m definitely getting ahead of myself.
Let’s talk about starting the game. When you begin, you get to customize your pixelated avatar by altering various presets. I didn’t bother changing the name of my character in-game because the name I wanted was simply too long, so I stuck with the default male name, Jones.
Jones (Kratos of Rivia) doesn’t really like people. What he does like is loot, weapons, and booze which is exactly how I played Geralt in The Witcher 3. But unlike Geralt or Kratos, Kratos of Rivia has no shame. In addition to customizing your character’s appearance, you can also select a specialized class and Death Trash has some pretty fun options.
So far, I’ve only experimented with one class. But when you enjoy something as much as I did, why do anything differently? Despite the recommendation of choosing the Trickster class (perhaps even in spite of), I wanted to explore my options. Voidwalker sounds interesting, but I prefer skills over weaponry. So I chose the Cyber Priest and I was not disappointed.
The first skill allotted to the Cyber Priest is, was, and always will be my favorite. Partly because it’s useful, but also because it’s a great sample of Hövelbrinks’ humor. Death Trash‘s own Jedi mind trick, Mindfuck. That’s right. Mindfuck.
By using his energy/stamina meter, Grand Cyber Priest Kratos of Rivia dry humps purple microwaves near enemies to temporarily confuse them into murdering their allies. My favorite way to play any game is to confuse enemies into destroying themselves while I casually watch on the sidelines, occasionally eliminating a few on my own. But like Monsters on Maple Street, I prefer to instigate chaos and watch the destruction play itself out.
So once Cyber Priest Kratos of Rivia was geared up and took his psychic libido pills, it was time to head off into the wilderness. It takes no more than a few minutes to run into the first of the quirky cast. Meet the Fleshkraken.
Made entirely of fleshy tissue, this Lovecraft-meets-Cenobite kraken is lonely and just wants a friend. I wasn’t too interested in being that friend though. Kratos of Rivia doesn’t have time for friends. So Kratos did as Kratos does and attacked the Fleshkraken’s lone worshipper for funsies. With nothing left to do in these caves, Kratos of Rivia (Kor for short) took off, leaving the poor flesh beast behind to wallow in sadness.
And then it happened. Kor met his soul mate. Of all places in the world to find love, it was right outside the darkest caves he’d ever encountered. Love comes in all forms in Death Trash and waiting for me just outside of the cave was this beautiful creature.
It was love at first text box for Kor. In this messed up world, you have to take what you can get.
But let’s talk more about the gameplay.
You have a slot based inventory where you can store any extra gear that isn’t currently equipped. There’s a slot for armor, a melee weapon, a ranged weapon and space for a few accessories. As you travel through Nexus, you’ll come across treasure chests and small armies of baddies protecting the goodies within the chests. Both these treasure chests and the baddies will drop valuable loot. Sometimes gold, sometimes weapons, sometimes trash; all of which can be sold. If your inventory is too full and you’re carrying duplicate weapons, you can destroy them and keep the scrap wood and metal for crafting better tools and weapons.
Finally departing from the caves of the lonely Fleshkraken temple, Kor set out into the wasteland where armed raiders waited for him. But as they do in Rivia, Kor was ready to get freaky with their psyche. The more he did it, the stronger he got.
As Kor leveled up, he was able to learn additional mind powers, as all Cyber Priests do. Using the skill tree, he learned how to create psychic shields and bully wastelanders by pushing them over with his mind. Becoming more persuasive while learning new dialogue options, as well as strengthening his attacks. In a short time, Kor and his rampant mindfuckery became a legend told around the nightly raider bonfires. He was unstoppable.
Until he became too confident and reckless. Far out in the East, he was ambushed with raiders and beat to death with clubs. A fitting end to Kratos of Rivia’s barbaric rule. But then he respawned and got revenge.
All-in-all Death Trash was a blast to play. Even though it’s only the alpha stages of development right now, Hövelbrinks has done a fantastic job creating something that’s fun just for the sake of fun. The only disappointing part is that I don’t have more of it to play yet. We’ll all just have to be patient to find out where this project ends up.
Death Trash is currently in development for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
A copy of this game was provided by the developer.