Played at PAX - Dismantle: Construct Carnage
This multiplayer robot-brawler is dripping with style and potential. It's also chock-full of explosive fists, grappling hooks and delicious destruction physics.
Dismantle: Construct Carnage is a top-down multiplayer brawler where robot gladiators beat at each other with medieval weapons, it's a simple premise, but with some pretty great twists. Foremost, while you may start with axes and hammers, as the battle wages on you'll find your own weapons, from pieces of the map, to pieces of your opponents.
You begin by selecting your robot, but that choice is really cosmetic. There are military-style robots, overgrown moss-covered rock robots and junkers that look like they put themselves together at the scrap heap. They're all pretty fun to look at, but in the end it comes down to what colour you are in the match. The real meat of the game is in the combat.
You begin with a grappling hook arm for darting around the map like a metal missile, and another arm that actually fires explosive metal missiles. Then there are all the aforementioned weapons scattered around the map, but there are always less weapons than robots, so you need to quickly dash for something pointy before your opponents do.
Dismantle: A feature that I've always wanted in a game.
Dismantling is cool. As you fight, pieces of your character can get knocked off. So when you lose an arm, the guy who cut it off can grab it to beat you into final submission. I kept thinking that with all the time I spent beating opponents with their own limbs, if these were human characters it would be the most grotesque game ever. But it's robots, so it's okay. Right?
So combat takes its toll on your character, but you adapt to the challenge and keep fighting. After all, these aren't squishy humans who can bleed out - these mechanical men-at-arms will fight to their last spark plug! Lose an arm? Swing with the other. Lose a leg? Hop on, you're fine. Lose both arms and both legs? Do your best Black Knight Monty Python impression before you detonate your body in one final middle-finger to the guy trying to kill you. Even with just a head you can still set off traps and try to lure enemies into deadly chasms.
Beyond the metal-churning monstrosities, in some instances the map itself is out to kill you with flamethrowers, spike pits and the usual bottomless pits to fall down. The maps rotated in our playthrough, so we never quite knew what was coming up next and had to adapt to the circumstances presented. One map, for instance, had the back wall steadily close in on us, making the fighting space ever smaller and herding us towards a deadly drop.
I found Dismantle: Construct Carnage to be fast, tactical and brutal as you gang up and knock your enemies into new shapes. One thing's for sure, this Australian indie isn't destined for the scrap heap.
Dismantle: Construct Carnage is currently in Steam Greenlight, you can find out more about it here.