Double Fine's sci-fi side-scroller Headlander gets a release date and a trailer

Headlander was announced last summer as a “retro-futuristic, side scrolling, action-adventure” in which you play a disembodied head encased in a flying helmet, trapped in a 70s-style sci-fi dystopia ruled by an insane AI. Developer Double Fine Productions announced a release date today—July 26, just a couple of weeks away—and also a new story trailer that may be one of the finest bits of videogame promotional material I've ever seen. 

The video does a great job of nailing the vibe of movie trailers from the era in which the game is ostensibly set, while at the same time also showing off bits and pieces of gameplay. Which is a good thing, given its bizarre central mechanic of using your detachable, flying head to assume control of other bodies in the Headlander world. It'll be awhile yet before we learn whether that will translate into a gameplay experience that's as clever as the premise—we described our hands-on experience with it as “a few different combat situations in various level of bullet hell,” which depending on your perspective may or may not boost its appeal—but at this point, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic. And I do like that trailer.   

To clarify, the trailer indicates only that Headlander is coming to the PS4, but it will be available for the PC on the same day.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.