If you know Ben Esposito only from his previous game, Donut County, an existential adventure about a hole, then it might be a surprise that his his new game is an anime-infused first-person shooter about demons fighting in heaven with cards in place of weapons. It’s called Neon White, and we are not surprised. Watch the announcement trailer below.
Another game for this heaven-set killfest might be ‘Paradise Killer’, and its colour palette and music evoke last year’s first-person detective game. The actual action of Neon White looks more like Quake 3 though, with the player seemingly zipping along a linear level with rocket jumps, dashes and other movement trickery.
All those tricks are deployed via cards – for example, dash is a single-use card called “Godspeed”, and there’s a move you can use while falling called “Stomp”. Some enemies drop cards when killed that you can pick up to replenish your hand.
I like everything that’s going on here. If the voiceover on the trailer sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Steve Blum (Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, most famously). The music is Lilith by Machine Girl. Mind you, I’ve no idea if it’ll be as fun as the trailer makes it looks when it’s my idiot fingers controlling it and I’m falling to my death in the void over and over again.
The reason I’m* not surprised that this is Ben Esposito’s new game is that, before he fell down a Donut County-shaped hole, he made similarly neon-soaked first-person games with the Arcane Kids like Perfect Stride and Zinith. Go watch those trailers and tell me Neon White isn’t part of the same lineage. Then go play Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits The James Turrell Retrospective.
*Also the only reason I remembered any of this is because Alice O reminded me. I am just pretending to be smart.