I have no idea what to make of this 'motorvania' about a biker coyote on a quest for vengeance, but I think I like it

When I first saw the title Laika: Aged Through Blood, I immediately assumed that it would be some sort of weird take on firing dogs into space in the name of science—like Space Tail, maybe, but with more of an alt-history basis. But no, it's actually stranger than that. It's a "motorvania" about a Mother Coyote on a motorcycle who embarks upon a quest for vengeance in a post-apocalyptic world filled with anthropomorphic, gun-totin' animals.

I really don't know what to make of Laika. I love the art style (that's what caught my eye in the first place) and it looks deeply dark: Let's be honest, watching a cute, bipedal doggo bleed out from a gut shot is pretty grim stuff. But the description on the Steam page seems somewhat more upbeat and energetic about the whole thing.

"Race through the wasteland and perform dangerous jumps, shoot enemies in slowmo and reload your gun by performing a backflip! Use skill-based power-ups and persist challenging battles against big bosses!," it says. "The very first MOTORVANIA!"

That's weirdly hype, right? And this guy, a presumably-villainous flunkie of some sort (who Laika shoots in the face), looks like a supporting character from DuckTales (woo-oo!):

(Image credit: Brainwash Gang)

But also, there's "a deep story about a mother-daughter relationship, vengeance and loss," and honestly that just feels so completely out of line with the gameplay vibe, I'm not sure what to make of it. You're going to do sweet jumps and blast bad guys and land epic slo-mo backflips—and also, your child is dead and you won't rest until you watch the eyes of her killer go cold and dark. On the face of it, that's a mighty strange one-two combo.

(I'm not sure if your child is actually dead or what, but Mother Coyote sure is pissed off about something.)

Laika: Aged Through Blood doesn't have a release date yet, but the good news for those curious about it (like me) is that what it will have very soon is a demo: One is set to go live with the start of the upcoming Steam Next Fest, which kicks off on June 19.

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.