This month, the Steam Next Fest opened the floodgates to literally hundreds of free demos—most of which went back offline after the festival closed its doors last Tuesday. But some didn't, including Stephan Hövelbrinks' wonderfully meaty pixelated RPG Death Trash.
After years of drip-feeding clips of the gruesome, post-apocalyptic RPG on his Twitter feed, Hövelbrinks finally let us step into Death Trash's world following a trailer at the PC Gaming Show. What we got was an intense, action-RPG with a world styled after the old Fallouts, but gorier—a butcher's shop wasteland packed with gibs and puke and colossal meaty squidbeasts.
Death Trash wasn't just one of our favourite demos from Steam Next Fest, it was one of our favourite E3 games, period. In our E3 Game Awards, Stephen remarked that it's "a great example of how pixel art can still surprise and delight even though it's a classic (and arguably overused) look. I love how sketchy everything looks. It's a gnarly aesthetic."
The Death Trash demo is free to pick up on Steam right now. Come August 5th, the game will enter early access, opening up the full first chapter of the gore-soaked world. Hövelbrinks plans to keep the game in early access for around a year, adding new chapters, locations, characters, quests and items before hopefully launching fully sometime in 2022.
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20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.