Will Hitbox Team’s PC port prove a sweeping success, or is there ample broom for improvement?
If you’re a fan of brutal twitch platforming, adrenaline-fuelled parkour and obsessive cleanliness, Hitbox Team’s frenetic sweep-’em-up, Dustforce could well be for you. Bringing new meaning to the term ‘good clean fun’, the game casts players in the role of one of four kick-ass custodians, attempting to cleanse a world of pollution equipped with nothing more than a brush and a cat-like agility.
Foregoing any real narrative, the core of this idiosyncratic experience is focused squarely on its thumb-blistering gameplay, which – akin to Super Meat Boy – is as unforgiving as it is invigorating. Utilising double-jumps, wall-runs and mid-air dashes, your janitor of choice must navigate breakneck stages, purging them of a film of grime that serves to illuminate the path ahead.
While reaching the end of a level is often no easy task, the crux of the game’s challenge comes from attaining its elusive SS rankings. Players are judged on both how much filth is expunged and how far their combo meter is filled, and graded accordingly. Sterilising surfaces builds the aforementioned gauge, and by maintaining momentum and chaining manoeuvres, courses can be conquered in one flowing sequence.
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Rob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.