Marvel Ultimate Alliance may be keeping comic book-oriented gamers happy for the time being, but Double Fine Productions is giving gamers another super-powered outing with RAD, a bird’s eye view game that sees players explore a post-apocalyptic world and fight for humanity’s survival.
RAD doesn’t take place in a traditional post-apocalyptic setting; instead, it takes place in a post-post-apocalyptic setting. Humanity has already rebuilt society two times after apocalypses hundreds of years apart and players are now tasked with maintaining the power grid and keeping the remaining people alive. The ironic twist at the heart of the game is that in order for players to succeed, they need to continually utilize new mutation power ups and slowly chip away at their humanity in the process.
Since the game gives players random mutations, there’s no one way to play the game. Instead of being able to fine-tune an avatar to the player’s content, RAD’s randomized mutation ensures that players can’t fall back on traditional classes they utilize in other games. RAD is heavily influenced by an ’80s aesthetic, with technicolor pops and vintage-sounding techno beats playing in the trailer.
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, project lead Lee Petty described RAD as a punny action game that is “equal parts charming and disgusting.” Talking about the game’s plot, Petty said players have a lot to uncover in this world as the past’s timeline has to be inferred from context clues instead of being completely laid out. Alongside the discovery-filled quests, Patty wants players to think about the corrupt nature of seemingly deified groups of people.
“What I’m also exploring is these two civilizations, both of which are deified by different groups of people in the game. They both got it wrong. They both messed up, and to some extent the elder says he has all these answers. I think, to some degree, anyone who says they have all the answers is full of shit.”
Underneath all the color and the interactive stage design is a game about the rise and fall of civilizations. Controlling a character who’s coming of age in this world, players get to see first hand just how confusing the world is while simultaneously changing the play environment with their mutant abilities.
RAD dropped on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC August 20th.