There are few games I love more than Resident Evil 4, so when I reached the surface of Dusk's world and was met with a backwoods farm located near a creepy, isolated house, I straightened up in my chair and smiled. However, I'm not slowly making my way through this dreary area, stopping to aim and shoot, like I did in Capcom's classic horror game. Instead, I pick up the nearby Hunting Rifle, shoot a weird cult wizard in the face, and run off into the morbid, swamp-like farmland at a speed that probably measures up to 100 miles per hour.
Dusk's gameplay is most comparable to that of Quake. You don't casually walk around the world, taking in the environment; you rocket through it, blasting anything that moves--whether it's a possessed militant or a gun-toting scarecrow--with weapons like the Dual Shotguns and Pistols. Sometimes you're moving so quickly that you won't even know what you shot, just that you were supposed to and it felt good doing so. The wide open space of the cultists' farmland and surrounding area is a lot of fun to be in, dipping back and forth to avoid enemy fire before putting them down with a devastating blast from the excessively powerful Super Shotgun.
The gameplay gets a little less interesting when you're taken into tighter corridors, something that I experienced at the very beginning of the demo and in the Endless mode. In Endless, you face off against waves of enemies until you die, while weapons, ammunition, and health spawn throughout the small arena. The action is still exhilarating, but Dusk excels most when you're given room to run.
My demo ended with a boss fight against two larger, even weirder cult wizards. As they shot big glowing orbs, it was relatively easy to sidestep their assault and go in for an up-close-and-personal attack. It'll be interesting to see how the full game's bosses are handled because even though it wasn't a bad fight, the boss wizards were just larger versions of enemies I'd encountered previously.
Dusk isn't currently available to the public, and you'll have to wait until 2017 to jump in and play it. While the build I spent time with had a single level with the aforementioned Endless mode, the full game will also include 1v1 arena multiplayer, a co-op mode, and a three-episode campaign. The first episode focuses on the Resident Evil 4-like farmlands, while the second and third move to areas that are said to be more reminiscent of Half-Life, Doom, and Hexen. While I hope the first episode is longer than what I saw in the demo level, I'm excited to see developer David Szymanski's take on the other styles. Dusk left me wanting more from its specific brand of fast-paced action, which is one heck of a credit in a genre that's in no short supply of excellent shooters.