Gone Viral preview
Source: PR

In the news piece for Gone Viral, I made that link to Smash TV being an influence of sorts. Since playing the closed beta, I can verify that this is better than Smash TV. *Note that this is based on a beta preview*

Alright, so I’m comparing a current-gen title with a classic arcade title – there’s been time for improvements, sure, but I couldn’t put it down. It’s so unbelievably addictive, I had to set a timer to force myself to go on to the next game.

The premise is simple: social media and mainstream broadcasts have united Power Rangers style to create a game show where survival is the crown. It’s a modern-day gladiator game where you have to clear each room to progress, growing a legion of fans in the process.

Gone Viral - Beach balls
Balls. Source: PR

That’s the main goal aside of saving your skin; growing your fanbase so you can receive gifts in-game that will have to paint the walls with claret, or perhaps starting a new run with a slight edge.

Fans aren’t simply sheep that will follow you for the sake of it, but they’ll increase based on numerous factors like the amount of blood you shed or the style of your play. After 20 or so repeat plays, I noticed that a lot of my fans were from the speedrunning ilk. 

Never in my umpteen years of gaming have I have been associated with speedrunning, but I was motivated to dash through the levels for those marginal gains: a fanbase to unlock a new tier and start with better loot.

The controls are simple enough. Gone Viral is a melee-focused title where you swing a sword up close, but make use of environmental hazards and pit traps for bonuses and quick kills. You also have a ranged attack – a harpoon that brings enemies to you, Scorpion style.

Other than an outstanding amount of power-ups and buffs, you also have bombs that can be used against enemies or use them to blow up chunks of concrete to pick up coins to buy new gear or hearts to replenish your health.

Gone Viral - New Mutations
New mutations. Source: PR

Each room needs to be cleared before you can progress and you’ll encounter mini-bosses and some larger-scale ones which are relatively challenging, but defeatable. However, the sheer number of attackers and lack of hearts means you can’t knucklehead your way through it as much as you want to.

I don’t pay much attention to technical settings as my PC setup usually runs at ultra by default, but I have to say the resolutions this game goes to is insane, without any framerate cap. Again, I ignore this sort of stuff (sorry), but the experience was silky smooth.

Character animations and modelling were brilliant. It’s just a tad on the smaller side so you can’t make out everything, but it’s detailed enough, and it’s rare not to know what’s going on. 

The textures did feel a little ‘milky’ for lack of any other term and in some respects, felt a little washed out. First thoughts that come to mind were the gamma, but it wasn’t that, it just looked a little pastel-like which was strange for such a raw game.

But those comments aren’t a negative one. I had an absolute ball with this game from Skullbot and Akupara Games and stoked for the full release, this being a closed beta, hence no score.

Gone Viral - Bombardier
Bombardier boss. Source: PR

On a side note, for people who are up for identify theft and like to see their face on-screen, there are so many options already that cater for streamers, and I predict that Gone Viral is going to have a big following when it’s released when it comes to competitive gaming.

Gone Viral is currently being tweaked, but not seeking any sort of harassment case. Instead, it’ll be out in Early Access for Steam on the 24th September. That is, that’s the planned date.

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