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In August of 2014, Gang Beasts was first released onto PC and earned an 8.6/10 user score on Metacritic. But I discovered the game two years later through a friend and it’s hard for me to look at other party games the same.
Gang Beasts is an overly simple party game that allows up to eight players. Each player picks a character, which can range from a business man in a suit to a figure in a fox costume. Players can also choose their own color. Next, you can choose the number of lives allowed and the stadium in which you and your friends fight to the death, and there are a number of different maps with different interactive elements.
The point of Gang Beasts is to kill off your friends so that you are the only one left standing with the most lives, and sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. The type of map you choose will drastically affect how you take out your friends. Grind will let you toss them into a giant grinder or over the railing into the abyss. And Containers starts off the level with two hanging cargo containers and you can easily knock off your buddies or break the ropes and drop the container, dropping your friends to their deaths.
Using the environment isn’t the only way to kill off your opponents. If you punch each other hard enough, you might get lucky and knock one of them out. And once they’re knocked out, you can do with them what you please. That means you’re free to pick them up and toss them over a railing, throw them in a grinder or through a trapdoor leading into an abyss.
The trickiest part of Gang Beasts is the controls will not be smooth, so don’t expect to go into the match swinging and scoring KO’s left and right. The characters in Gang Beasts are dopey for a reason, because if they were fluid and fast, where would be the fun in that? To see what I’m talking about, check out last year’s E3 trailer below.
Gang Beasts is currently only in Steam Early Access, so it still has quite a few bugs and fixes that need to be addressed, but honestly sometimes the bugs are what make this game hilarious. For example, one of the bugs my friends and I have encountered is our characters getting stuck in certain positions or something miraculous happening when the cable snaps in Elevators (something that definitely should not happen) causing one of us to stupidly survive. It’s almost as if it makes the game that much better.
Gang Beasts is supposed to be releasing sometime this year onto the PS4 from publisher Double Fine Productions, but an official release date hasn’t been announced yet. The game is playable on PC on Steam Early Access though, so if after reading this article you’re itching to try it with your friends, it only costs $19.99—and trust me, it is well worth it. Just put back a couple beers and stumble around trying to knock each other out and I promise you’ll spend hours in side-splitting laughter.