Secret Ponchos has such an interesting look all its own that, to me, is very reminiscent of Jamie Hewlett’s work on Tank Girl and The Gorillaz. This immediately drew me in to what is probably the oddest genre bender I’ve played thus far. A top down, twin stick, spaghetti western shooter.
Supporting a cast of 5 characters, as well as downloadable content, both paid and free, already in the works. Each character is uniquely crafted to mesh with players with multiple play styles. Each character has a set of stats that include speed, strength, defense, and range. Add to the equation their different special abilities, and you got an interesting team deathmatch. What some characters lack in speed they greatly makeup in range. If you feel cornered or trapped, the maps offer cover and power ups to help give you an edge.
The demo only featured free-for-all but will also support modes including 1v1, 2v2, 4v4, and 8 player free-for-all. Within these modes, there’s more match types like deathmatch, team deathmatch, and domination. the premise is to have the biggest bounty on your head. This is decided by how well you do in a match by kills, killstreaks, and so forth. this gives you reputation dollars and this is how you rank up. Reputation dollars can be spent on customizing your character to give you slight enhancements like speed or range. These slight customizations, however, won’t hinder your experience with higher level characters.
During my time with the game, I went with Kid Red, the most accessible character for players, in a free-for-all match. Kid Red had two different fire modes. Dual wield offered rapid fire, while the magnum was slow but had a chance of stunning an enemy, as well as a third option to throw dynamite. I found myself in a three way firefight in a saloon constantly rolling into cover trying firing like crazy. Auto reload is not an option and takes a bit of time leaving me vulnerable for a few seconds. This constant back and forth made the battle both fun and tense.
A couple power ups located across the map gave you short boost in speed or x2 damage. Map size felt is very comfortable, never feeling too big or too small. In addition having the ability to walk into some of the buildings as well makes for fun shootouts that anyone can walk into when you least expect it.
Secret Ponchos will be available free for Playstation Plus members for Fall 2014 and Steam Early Access this summer