10 Nov 2011

The only way is up: Against the Wall

Not enough games make enough use of the vertical plane. Remember the first Call of Juarez? I don't think anyone in the world agrees with me on this point, but I still think it the highlight of the entire series - clambering to the submit of that weathered mountain to retrieve a single eagle feather for some mystical trial. Some said it was a misstep. I thought it was an unexpectedly inventive change of pace. There's not enough tranquillity in video games. Or scaling of awesome heights.

I guess Against the Wall is here to correct that. Here we have an early alpha build - not much more than a concept at this point - of a game which requires you to climb. Where to? And for how long? Your village and I'm not sure. Although I'm hoping you might reach the top to find David Gilmour there, banging out some aged guitar riff before the whole thing comes crashing down. And the kids stop singing that bloody chorus.

Speculation aside, developer Michael Consoli has released his project into the wilds of the web to interest gamer folk and inspire others to lend a hand.

Despite being so much of a blank canvas at the moment, playing through this early build there's no escaping the sense of scale that the game already provides. Your goal is to travel upwards across the side of an infinite brick-lined barrier, pulling out bricks with your magic sceptre and skipping from one to the other to gain height. It's a neat idea, strained slightly by the vastness of the world and the repetition required to climb, but it's easy to see how this manner of play can be built upon and enhanced by a few more oddball environments and development of the basic mechanic.

It's promising then and there are already a few surprises even at this early stage in development. Here, in Consoli's own words, is how the game works and what he needs to happen:-

You can download the alpha of Against the Wall here or play it in your browser on the very same page.

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