Do you remember the halcyon days of sliding quarters into Rampage? For me, it was repeatedly renting Rampage: World Tour from my local Family Video and slotting it into my N64. It didn’t matter that turning the console off would nuke all of my progress, since I failed to understand what memory cards did. In a way, it’s kind of weird the “monsters destroying a 2D city” genre never took off the way Doom shooters or point-and-click adventures did. Our only solace has been the better-than-you’d-expect 2018 movie with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
That’s why Terror of Hemasaurus looks appropriately smashing. It’s exactly what you’d hope it is: a retro style smash-em-up where you and friends play giant kaiju monsters unleashed on a helpless city populace. Rather than a gorilla or wolfman, you play as the Reptar-like Hemasaurus, the similarly lizard-like Salamandrah, the time-bending “Clocksloth,” and Autonomous Hemasaurus, an obvious nod to my favorite kaiju movie villain, Mecha Godzilla.
The premise is also surprisingly cool for what is ultimately just a reason to go around stomping on buildings. Hemasaurus is unfrozen by the Church of the Holy Lizard and instructed to teach humanity to finally care about the planet’s climate catastrophe. Not a moment too soon, huh?
In action, Hemasaurus looks like a very pretty evolution of the Rampage formula. You’ll stomp through streets, climb up towers, and eat your fair share of helicopters. What I really dig is how all that destruction benefits from 20 years of technological progress since the first two Rampage games. Fire pours out of Salamandrah’s mouth and burns a building’s exterior, and while Autonomous Hemasaurus climbs a particularly large tower, it begins to split in half and fall apart window by window, splitting into different chunks, rather than the simpler straight down plummet of the old Rampage games.
Perhaps the funniest ability shown off so far is Clocksloth’s bullet-time, where he claps his claws together and slows down everything around him, including explosions, missiles, and falling humans.
Terror of Hemasaurus is being developed by Loren Lemcke, who you may remember from the similarly cartoonish Super Blood Hockey and Over 9000 Zombies. It’s due out “early-ish next year” on Steam and every major console.