‘Kick Bastards’ turns ‘Dark Messiah”s kick mechanic into a parkour wonder

Yes, a grapple hook does come out from the players foot

Kick Bastards is an upcoming first-person parkour game where the player needs to constantly kick walls and enemies to survive, and it’s coming out next year.

Developed by Edinburgh-based team of two Something Something Games, footage of Kick Bastards was shared by Ian Wilson on April 21, showcasing the game’s frenetic movement and combat mechanics in action.

Wilson told NME that the game is a combination of “our love of the game Dark Messiah by Arkane, [as] the kicking is just so satisfying in that game” and how he and his co-developer do parkour as a hobby.

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“The premise for the game’s story is that the main character has reneged on a deal with the devil and in his anger the devil has invaded the earth,” added Wilson. “This is why you see so much hell imagery in the levels, the devil has brought hell and his armies with him.”

The game’s inspiration from 2008’s Mirror’s Edge is also clear, with bright red covering many specific parts of the level to help the player quickly navigate the landscape. Whilst this inspiration is prevalent in Kick Bastards’ current footage, Wilson says the further players get in the game the more the aesthetic will “diverge”.

What sets Kick Bastards apart from parkour titles like Mirror’s Edge is how Something Something Games has focused on interlinking combat and traversal, as the game’s core kick mechanic can be used for both.

“Our goal is for combat to challenge players by putting their flow and speed at risk,” explained Wilson. “Depending on how well they manage any encounter they will be able to get a boost in their speed as a reward.”

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Various types of kicks will be present in the final game, all of which can be used in different ways to traverse and fight enemies. For example the “grapple kick” fires a grapple line from the player’s foot, letting them swing from flying enemies.

Kick Bastards image
Kick Bastards. Credit: Something Something Games

Leaderboards for each of the levels and quick restarts are being implemented to help push the speedrunning aspect of Kick Bastards, with more quality of life features aiming to help solidify the game’s replayability as well.

Each level in the game will also have multiple routes to the end, which Wilson says will offer “navigational choice” along with the “tricks and timings” built into each mechanic that skilled players can use to excel and get the fastest times.

Kick Bastards will be released in 2023 on PC via Steam. The game’s Steam page can be found here.

In other news, Sony has revealed the regional rollout dates for its revamp of the PlayStation Plus subscription service, which starts in May.

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