One of the benefits of checking out new games at PAX East 2020 is being able to play the game alongside the actual developers. Such was the case with Alien Hominid Invasion, a sequel to the cult classic 2004 run-and-gun indie Alien Hominid. Actually, sequel isn't the right word. Dan Paladin, co-creator of the original game, sees it more as a reimagining, but even that isn't really the best description.
Both are cooperative run-and-gun games starring tiny violent aliens, but Invasion offers much more freedom than its predecessor. Where the first game locked you on an individual screen until you eliminated your foes, Invasion lets you freely explore each procedurally generated stage, moving in all directions. Your alien pals are much more mobile: they can double jump, dodge roll, and dive through the air to leap around--and onto the backs of--enemies.
Procedural generation is a big part of Invasion; Paladin wants each run to feel different. The world map lets you choose your path forward, with a variety of levels designed around suburbia, skyscrapers, moving trains, and more. Modifiers like infinitely spawning enemy hordes and better loot are also visible when choosing with stage to tackle next.
That's another key difference in Invasion: a loot system. A variety of guns, passive abilities, and decorative hats can be randomly obtained while completing objectives in each level. If you make it to a loot dropoff point on the overworld map, all those goodies are yours to keep. But if you die, it's all gone.
Objectives within the levels themselves range from collecting intel from fallen enemies, to finding missing items, and of course, to big ol' boss battles. Our demo featured the fierce flying Megabot, which you can see in the gameplay video above. Paladin also teased that some familiar faces may make a return as boss fights.
Alien Hominid Invasion has no set release date. Developer The Behemoth will be launching the game on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, with the possibility of "other platforms" after that.