Pecaminosa is a title I’ve been following for a while now, so pleased to see that it got a demo during the recent Steam Festival. I dabbled with it, and here is my report.
From Cereal Games and Badland Publishing is defined by them as a pixel noir, and that’s pretty accurate. The tone and writing are on par with what one would expect, and the variety of characters are great.
But this isn’t a visual novel on the same tracks as the Chicken Police and in more of a story-driven action game. In the brief game time that the Pecaminosa demo offered, it was predominantly a fetch quest of steak and a bag full of weapons.
The map was pretty big, and for a while, I was lost, until noticing the obvious indicator telling you where to go. Doh. Despite the guidance, trolling about the city is a bit of an irksome task as the protagonist, former detective Souza, is slow-moving. There’s a dash option, but it’s in bursts.
To pass the time, I whipped out my assumed Tommy Gun, I’m no expert so don’t correct me on models, and started shooting at bystanders, but there wasn’t any response – no flinching, no retaliation. Fortunately then, the dialogue, text-based, makes up for it, as does the brilliant score.
In the demo, you have to hunt down a crim named Rourke. Some of the tasks include buttering up a scrapyard owner with a steak, sharpening a rod (not your penis or some attempt at a P.I./dick joke) and socialising with the Thin Lizzy locals.
As an action RPG, Pecaminosa allows for investments in skills called the L.I.F.E. system. Put simply; it’s this:
- L is for Luck: dodge bullets and get more money.
- I is for Intelligence: become a crack shot with pistols and rifles.
- F is for Force: your health points and how you deal with knockbacks and damage.
- E is for Endurance: How many Netflix shows you can binge on in a weekend, specifically to Pecaminosa; stamina, speed and perk cooldowns.
You have the opportunity to tinker at first, but as it’s a demo, only at the start and no scope to play around with the settings just yet. Still, it’s a great selection to customise Souza for when the full game is released.
The Boy (Man) Is Back In Town
Visually, it reminds me of an Amiga game like Wanted – great for nostalgic crusties, not so much if you don’t like retro visuals. I like it though, and the colour palette looks like the designers raided the wardrobes of a GQ stylist – very brown and grey, which is nice.
By the time I tracked down Rourke, I had conceded that there would be no firefights in the game and instead, the focus on the story, which is good. However, Rourke is a boss, and this was when the shooting element kicked in.
Like a twin-stick shooter, you can pick off enemies in this top-down viewpoint with a machine gun, or if feeling brave, melee them. The boss was in three stages, the first two having a set of attack patterns that you have to avoid until the right striking point.
It was a predictable, but enjoyable set piece mostly, besides the grunts you encounter who would spawn with knives, offering no challenge. They all looked the same too, with their wife-beaters on and making the same noise when downed.
By the third encounter with the boss, the demo was up, and Pecaminosa made enough of an impression to look forward to its eventual release. From my part, the action sequences were a bit dull, as were the fetch quest elements. That said, this is a promising indie title, and it has perfectly replicated the highs of the 16-bit era, in my opinion.