Fight through the Greek afterlife with blade and shot in this grimy, gilded FPS

"Slay hordes of creatures on the black sands of Purgatory and sell their gold-stained corpses to craven priests," Perish's description on Steam begins. "Kill magnificent bosses and use the proceeds to gain access to Elysium, a place of cosmic revelations." Say no more, I'm in.

Every frame of this co-op FPS looks like it could be metal album art⁠—it's inspired by Greek mythology, but feels extremely fresh. Instead of white marble columns and clean Corinthian helms, everything's greasier in Perish, its gold color palette conferring a real sickly quality. It's raining blood in the second area of Perish's free demo, and my favorite shot of its Steam trailer shows an alien sky with multiple moons beyond a series of floating ruins. This stuff's rad.

I unlocked a gun pretty quick in the demo, but I just couldn't put down the starting hatchet weapon. Similar to Fatshark's offerings, developer Item42's really nailed the feeling of crunchy, effective melee weapons, and I'm especially jazzed about the infinitely respawning grappling hook javelins and beam-launching khopesh sword shown off in the trailers.

Perish has set maps with variable objectives, a setup similar to other co-op shooters. You can accumulate gold to unlock permanently available weapons and modifiers for your character, as well as earn randomized temporary bonuses as you complete the stages of a mission. One stage had me chasing down a slippery target before holding down an objective for time, while another required me to trade in my hatchet for a slow-swinging torch and burn down a temple.

The objectives are fun and distinct enough from one another, and I was having plenty of fun tackling Perish's demo solo. If you're luckier than me and have friends who aren't adults with jobs and no time for co-op indie shooters, all the better⁠—Perish seems like a real winner for two to four player co-op. Perish will release in full this Thursday, February 2, and until then you can check out its demo and wishlist the game on Steam.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.