As this generation progresses, it seems there has been a shift in the industry when comparing the heavy online multiplayer focus of last generation. More and more titles are being announced with a return to local multiplayer where you can smack talk your buddies in person instead of a crackling headset. Iron Galaxy believes in local multiplayer and bringing people together, which is highly evident as they branch out helping indie developers publish their innovative multiplayer titles.
Capsule Force fully embodies the spirit of local multiplayer. Alex Jebailey, community manager at Iron Galaxy, was kind enough to spare some of his busy schedule to talk us about the game and its growing crowd on the busy PAX East showroom floor. Capsule Force can be played 1v1, but to experience the multiplayer bliss of the game, you'll want to gather a couple more friends and compete in the 2v2 matches.
Capsule Force owes much to its stylish characters and environments to 80s space anime. Intergalactic forces compete across spanning stages to capture galaxies which happen to be enclosed within capsules. Battles are intense and faster than anything the average gamer is used to. Using a similar premise to Nidhogg, teams (or single players for the friendless) must push the battle in their favor by moving across the opposite screens via moveable trams on the top and lower part of the screen. After moving across a handful of screens, you'll reach the end where you must try and snag the galaxy. The other team must push things back to the other side by hopping on a platform to transition the battle to connecting screens and defend the galaxy.
Using the PS4 build for the presentation, all of the face buttons on the controller were utilized and if you even want to get a whiff of victory, you'll use each one. A single shot from an enemy blaster will vaporize you and force you to respawn, but at the same time you'll have to dodge laser beams spanning the width of the entire screen. Holding down the fire button allows you to charge up a shot. I should mention that when shooting, you lose any momentum you had. Dashing safely moves you through any incoming attack, but the timing must be precise. Shields can deflect an incoming attack, but won't stop your character from moving, making it very useful while riding the platforms.
Mike and I played two rounds, testing out two of the eight arenas in frenetic fast-paced back-and-forth matches. We stole the first win, going from our last screen (the one with the galaxy), taking the speed bonus platform all the way down to the other side for the win. The second game was closer, as our opponents quickly learned to use the same tactic.
Capsule Force also includes 32 single-player missions for those unable to have people over to play the multiplayer portion of the game. The missions themselves are challenging as you attempt to destroy all of the targets in each stage. For a even better challenge, and something I can see taking over Twitch speed runs, the Extreme Mode has you running through all of the missions consecutively. Fail at any time, and you start back at the beginning. These missions are timed, and for every target you hit, a small sliver of time is added, but if you miss a single target and are forced to retrace your steps you are toast.
Capsule Force is set to release on both the PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam.