Neon White turns you into a demon hunter speedrunner

Neon White turns you into a demon hunter speedrunner
Written by admin_3fxxacau

neon white Had my neck straining with every seemingly out of reach jump – and I couldn’t get enough of it. Developed by Angel Matrix, a small team led by donut county designer Ben Esposito, neon white combines thrilling parkour action, a late 90s earthquakeaesthetics and a crazy story that looks a bit like if The purge took place in the hereafter. It’s like running across the sky while taking detours to learn about angels and demons. It’s a seemingly strange combo, but it works very, very well.

The premise of neon white is actually quite simple at its core. Occasionally, for a period of 10 days, God invites some of the inhabitants of Hell to Heaven so that they can help eradicate the demon population. Whoever accumulates the most kills wins the ultimate prize: a place in paradise. These Demon Hunters are called Neons, and just like in any other competition, they form tough rivalries and alliances with each other during the event. Complicating matters is the fact that your character, Neon White, has lost his memory and therefore has no idea who, if anyone, he can trust.

The story is as weird as it is great, and it mostly unfolds like a visual novel with hilarious writing and delicious betrayals. There is even Characterstyle side quests where you can hand out gifts to learn more about your neon colleagues. Also, for some reason, all angels look like floating cats.

That’s the setup, but most of your time will be spent on missions. These are small platforming levels where the goal is to kill every demon as quickly as possible. And they are very fast – stages are usually less than a minute long and most will cut your time to under 20-30 seconds. For the most part, the levels are extremely vertical parkour playgrounds, and as you progress you’ll collect cards representing various weapons, from machine guns to shotguns.

neon white isn’t really a shooter, though. Instead, once you get used to its distinct brand of action – which, admittedly, can take a while – you’ll realize that it’s all just a way to get through the level even faster. . Most weapons, for example, have a secondary ability that lets you double jump, dash through the air, or smash to the ground. Enemies, meanwhile, will drop specific weapons, and some have their own mobility features as well. (There is a type of demon that is simply a floating ball that you can bounce on.) The trick is figuring out how to connect all of these elements to find the best and fastest path through the stage.

I didn’t understand anything at first. Initially, I was running around messy through each level, trying to kill all the demons and move on to the next story. But, at some point, neon white forces you to learn how it really works. In order to progress through the story, you need to reach a specific neon rank, which, in turn, means having a good time on most levels. I found myself having to replay older stages in order to increase my rank.

Neon white.
Image: Annapurna Interactive

At first it was frustrating. I couldn’t wait to dig into the mystery of White and how his past life was connected to the other Neons; instead, here I was trying to gain two seconds on a run through a paradise parkour playground. But, as tedious as it seemed at first, those forced replays showed me how the game really works – and now I actually have want to to replay stages until I’ve perfected my running. History can wait. Knowing all the ins and outs of gameplay isn’t just fun and satisfying; it also becomes a necessity once you get thrust into a boss fight.

I should also note that, although repetition is an integral part of neon white, there is a degree of openness, so you don’t have to get a perfect score every step of the way. And because it’s all so fast – not only are the stages short but also you can restart almost instantly – these replays are far less frustrating than they might otherwise be.

On paper, neon white seems strange and confusing. It’s a demon hunting parkour shooter where you run through the paradise to get a high score. Plus, it’s a visual novel. But, in practice, it’s quite simple: each level is a puzzle, and it’s up to you to figure out how to use its different components to get the best time. It might take a while and a few run-ins with giant heads that shoot lasers at you, but it’s incredibly satisfying when you pull it off, even if it does result in a little neck pain.

neon white releases June 16 on Nintendo Switch and Steam.

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