E3 2019: RAD Aims to be Bodacious and Tubular

RAD was first shown off a couple of months ago, and it showed a great deal of promise. Double Jump showcased an all-new kind of game for them — an action-platformer with a unique mutation mechanic. Double Fine will also be exploring procedural generation for the first time — enabling each playthrough to feel different. There’s an on-screen RAD meter up top that shows how close you are to your next mutation. This allows you to get a better feel for the timing of when you’re going to shift. Some mutations are good and some will hinder you — a bit like Rogue Legacy in that regard. One may boost your strength, while another may strip you of a limb and make moving around the world harder.

The core game is a hack and slash with rogue-lite elements and its overhead viewpoint is used to let you see and explore the world. You can earn upgrades to do things like getting an extra tiny body coming out of yours to help you shoot enemies from afar. This gives you not only a short-range attack with your sword, but also a longer-range attack when you need it. The post-apocalyptic setting is unique in that it’s a bright world, but also one that looks completely mangled and destroyed on some level too. There are parts of the world that show off a run-down desert, while others show a more advanced area with well-lit underground parts. The world is unique and stands out, with things like nasty sludge showing off how damaged the world is now while small parts show off how great it was before.

RAD will bring back the usual wacky and light-hearted sense of humor that Double Fine is known for, while also having a somewhat bleak world that stands as a bit of a contrast. The world has a great sense of personality and the in-game narrator is a bit like Futurama’s narrator where he’s got extensive knowledge about things — but it’s all off-kilter. It’s a bit like Fallout New Vegas’ faction viewing Elvis Presley as a literal King instead of it being a nickname. Enemy types appear varied so far and being able to unleash new powers on foes can completely change how you attack. Being limited to a small sword makes things harder at first, but leads to you being more thankful when you wind up getting a mutation that gives you a greater reach. We’ll be keeping an eye on RAD as its release draws ever-closer. So far, what’s been shown is promising and it looks like a must-play for fans of isometric action games.