Roll7, you'll remember created the very sharp and entirely-unforgiving Olli Olli, one of the year's early standout indies on Vita.
Not A Hero is the crew's similarly simple and sharply-honed take on... Hollywood-big cover based shooting.
"Not A Hero, in a way, is a very character-driven game because all of our playable characters come from different backgrounds, feel distinct and play very differently. In some cases, it’s brought on by special abilities; slow reloading, different guns, speed etc. We want to make it so every character brings something different to the table.
The first playable character you meet is Steve, and he’s a standard issue, balaclava-wearing, pistol-wielding dude who is designed to teach you the core mechanics of the game – such as; slide, cover, shoot, then timing reloads, and working out slide tackles – stuff like that.
From there, you can unlock Cletus. He’s our loveable, shotgun-shooting Hillbilly. We introduce the first big change to how things play with him. He has a shotgun, which means he has less ammo, but his bullets are somewhat more effective. You have to really think through your shots, because you will almost certainly die if you just started blasting off bullets everywhere.
Cletus also adds a couple of Special Abilities in a major way. For instance, if you fire at an Enemy, they get blown backwards. It’s kind of awesome because you can essentially start bowling with bad-guys. You can shoot one guy, and then use him to knock over everyone else, then run in and execute everyone while they’re on the floor."
"The world of Not A Hero is a mess. Crime runs rampant, gangs have taken over entire sections of the City. Basically, it looks like all hope is lost. It’s Gotham without Batman. We don’t own Batman though, so it’s up to Bunnylord, our weird little bunny-thing in a suit, who wants to win the upcoming election and save the City. How does he do that? By hiring Steve as his campaign manager/murderer to clean up the streets, naturally."
"While lots of 3D shooters use a cover system, I’ve played very few 2D games that use similar mechanics. In 2D shooters, you’re usually jumping over bullets or ducking under them. Very few have parts of the environment that you can hide in. So that’s the single, biggest feature, I think. Every character of the game uses cover, and if you don’t use it, you’re going to die.
It’s similar to our last game too, in a way, where there’s a pattern to the movement. In OlliOlli, it’s ‘Trick, Land, Trick, Grind, Trick, Land.’ In Not A Hero, it’s kind of ‘Slide, Cover, Shoot, Cover, Slide’."
"Every stage, there is one overall objective that you have to beat to finish the level. There are also three bonus challenges that are optional to complete. We’re trying to cater to both types of fans – the ones who want to complete everything 100%, and the others who just want the variety and flux of the different challenges, different maps and different gameplay.
As you’re working for Bunnylord, and you’re helping him go on his election campaign, you will see Bunnylord’s Poll Rating rise after you complete every stage. The more Challenges you complete, the higher the District percentage will be.
In terms of character unlocks, you can play through the game and do most of the challenges with any character, but there are certain levels where you might need to unlock a certain character in order to go back and beat previous challenges."
The game is due out in early 2015 - I'm sure Hotline Miami 2 will tide me over 'till then. Gameplay of Not A Hero is almost-impossible to find - there's some off-screen stuff you can find on YouTube, but the only place to see (a few meager seconds) of direct-feed footage is in Devolver's Sony E3 sizzle reel from yesterday.