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Quick Look: Carrion

There are no puns about carry-on luggage nor references to the song Carry On My Wayward Son in this video. We regret the error.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Jul. 23 2020

Cast: Brad, Matt

Posted by: Matt

In This Episode:

Carrion

29 Comments

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kevlargorilla

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Bullets! The monster's one weakness!

And fire, and shocks.

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csl316

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Edited By csl316

For the first 2 minutes, I was looking for this fabled "first Quick Look" in the archives. Ah well, technical stuff happens!

After Ori 2, I'm having a hard time getting excited about a new Metroidvania because that one was so amazing (I say this, but Hollow Knight 2 is right around the corner). Still, the power of game pass means I'll give it a shot.

Although it's making me want to replay Mutant Blobs Attack.

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MunnyShh

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Edited By MunnyShh

Really liking the premise of this game. Are there other monsters? It would be cool if you had competing monsters too or alternative characters.

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lobstercrush

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Is there at least a "Keep calm and Carrion" pun in the quick look?

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MeierTheRed

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Played a few hours and really dig it.

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Mordja

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Is it really a metroidvania? It looks like each section is essentially its own level and there's no reason to go back to earlier ones.

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tenma147

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Edited By tenma147

I'd be curious to know how long the game is, but I'm really looking forward to playing it as soon as I get home.

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development

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Reminds me of one of the Genesis Jurassic Park games for some reason.

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rorie

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rorie  Staff

@munnyshh said:

Really liking the premise of this game. Are there other monsters? It would be cool if you had competing monsters too or alternative characters.

I haven't seen any yet!

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rorie

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rorie  Staff

@mordja said:

Is it really a metroidvania? It looks like each section is essentially its own level and there's no reason to go back to earlier ones.

Yeah, it's weird; it affects the explore/puzzle stuff of a Metroidvania but there's no secrets or anything to find.

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Littleg

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I remember this really standing out when it flashed on-screen briefly during an E3 presentation. I had a real Cuphead-style "what the heck is that!?!" moment, so I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

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rorie

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Edited By rorie  Staff

@littleg said:

I remember this really standing out when it flashed on-screen briefly during an E3 presentation. I had a real Cuphead-style "what the heck is that!?!" moment, so I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

It's on GamePass! Well worth an install in my opinion.

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femaletanks

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Thing.

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LeStephan

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Anyone here remember how that iphone game was called that was basically exactly this games premise except it used a mix of 3d and sprites and the moster you played looked way less impressive(was a 3d orb with tentacles). Shouldve released somewhere between 2009-2012 probably, maaaaybe later...

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grimTidings

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BluPotato

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Rorie stopped right at the part that I'm stuck at and have no idea where to go from there. My only criticism is about the game so far is the lack of a mapping feature to guide you around if you get lost backtracking.

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Superharman

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This is the perfect Game Pass game, short, pretty light, but a hell of a lot of fun.

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LeStephan

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Edited By LeStephan

EDIT2: OMG I FOUND IT! It was called "perfect cell" released on ios in 2010 apparently :) I remember liking it a lot back then and the controls working really well for it! heres a link: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/perfect-cell/id390238229 ....Looks like its still available holy shit :D

Its also pretty similar in concept right? Not the exact same obviously... and im not saying carrion is a ripoff either, it could be 100% possible the devs have never seen the ios game im talking about. Just sharing haha, ive been raking my brain over this ever since ive seen carrion for the first time a couple weeks back haha :P

original post:

@grimtidings: no definitely not, think its newer than gish, that was 2007-ish right?

(edit: just checked: wow 2004 eh...I think 2007 is when I played gish now that I think about it. I only got an ipod touch 3/4 in 2009 I think and the game im talking about came out at least a year into my ipods lifespan if not later. I remember the icon being white or pink and the logo being a circle with 3 tentacles coming out the side of the circle and 3 dots inside the circle.)

But I appreciate the guess though, thnx dude ^^

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JamesM

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Edited By JamesM

Brad is right in his suspicion: you can't eat the heavy soldiers with the shields. That puzzled me in the demo. What you can eat, however, is both halves of the other people. Rorie was leaving some legs around that could have given him a bit more biomass! Though to be honest, I've found that cool though the eating mechanic is, really it's more a matter of surviving a combat encounter then refilling at the next save spot.

I'd recommend giving the mouse and keyboard controls on PC a go if possible. They feel very natural - you just click where you want to go, and right-click to grab onto stuff.

Anyway, I've been enjoying this game. My main criticism is that it isn't really much of a Metroidvania, as @mordja suggested. It has the trappings - you're constantly looping back around and pressing switches here to open doors there - but the way forward is usually pretty constrained, and you only rarely do something of interest in a room twice, rather than briefly passing back through. As I say, I like it as it is, but I think I'd like it more if the design were a bit more open (with secrets!), and a map were provided to compensate for the less guided structure.

What I think the game does really well is expressiveness. As Brad says, even movement feels violent, and the game is pretty good at enabling you to act as a monster would: pulling doors off their hinges and flinging them behind you, or thrusting them forwards to knock down whoever's behind them; crushing people with ceiling grates, or pulling them down into the depths below their walkway to eat them; smashing all the light bulbs while scientists run around in terror; smashing an armoured guard endlessly against the walls in frustration at your inability to eat them. It all feels very in-character, like you're embodying this amorphous ball of rage.

Speaking of the light bulbs reminds me of a misconception I had early on in the demo. When they described it as a "reverse horror game", I imagined there would be a greater mindgame component, like how you were supposed to stress out the enemies in Arkham Asylum by letting them see their buddies hanging from statues and so on. There's hints of a more involved combat system there - there are plenty of tunnels that allow you to circumvent rooms and stage ambushes - but the nature of how the game controls and the tools you have available to you means I usually just end up careening through, taking everyone out in a frenzy. That's a lot of fun, but it would be nice if you could snake down a single tendril and grab someone from their chair, or knock out the lights so the guards couldn't see you, or whatever. I guess that's describing a different game than what they were going for, but it would fit the theme and level design pretty well, I think.

Anyway, cool game.

EDIT: It does actually seem like you may be able to mess around with the sequence of the areas a little, although it's hard to tell if that's what's actually happening or if I'm just accidentally wandering my way into where I was about to be guided. But sometimes I open a new area and then immediately go elsewhere.

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changethel1ghts

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This game is very good! I recommend, and I don't do this often, that folks try the mouse and keyboard controls. It felt much easier to control than using a controller.

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This looks cool as fuck.

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Edited By Humanity

I just finished this today and even got all the achievements in it. It's definitely a classic Devolver game and a perfect fit for Game Pass. I wouldn't even say it's very short because in my opinion they could have maybe reworked the levels and biomes a bit to have fewer areas but with more things to do in each one making the entire experience maybe shorter but meatier. I ended up collecting all of the containment canisters that give you unique powerups at the end of the game when I had actually already killed every living person in the base making them kind of pointless - but the game is structured in such a weird way that it sort of pushes you forward. Without a map it's also difficult to even know what you have and haven't done.

All in all very neat and I enjoyed the ending. Also big thanks to both @rorie and @brad for making the effort to record this one again, it's really appreciated.

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grimTidings

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EDIT2: OMG I FOUND IT! It was called "perfect cell" released on ios in 2010 apparently :) I remember liking it a lot back then and the controls working really well for it! heres a link: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/perfect-cell/id390238229 ....Looks like its still available holy shit :D

Its also pretty similar in concept right? Not the exact same obviously... and im not saying carrion is a ripoff either, it could be 100% possible the devs have never seen the ios game im talking about. Just sharing haha, ive been raking my brain over this ever since ive seen carrion for the first time a couple weeks back haha :P

Glad you found it! I wondered whether the devs might even have been the same people, but it seems as though there's no connection. Had never heard of 'Perfect Cell' but that's a wild game to come out on an iThing. (Who archives games like that?) Games where you play as the gross slime-creature seem rare for sure, hence why I got Gish vibes. How many games are there where you play as the thing that escapes from a lab, I wonder?

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Edited By larmer

Just finished playing through this with Game Pass. It's pretty short, but I'm not sure I would call it a single-sitting game. I beat can beat it in 2 play sessions. Very linear, not really that challenging and the puzzles aren't hard to figure out. The only times I was frustrated were when I was on a puzzle that required an ability I didn't have yet.

There's an optional ability unlock in every biome that I think just adds power to one of your current abilities. I wanted to go back and get those after unlocking all the main abilities, but without a map it was be a real slog to go through each biome looking for it.

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Thank god this was on game pass. I loved the premise but the jerky camera immediately made me sick, the combat made me stop halfway with this title, and my god awful memory prevented me from remembering which grey tunnel I had to return to. Not sure I can recommend this at the $20 price tag for anyone, but if you can work past its flaws then you'd probably have an ok 3 hours.

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Very neat game, and getting behind enemies to rip them to shreds is very fun. Sadly i do think that the endless switch-puzzles are not all that fun, but at the same time i don't know what else you could do that would be more entertaining.

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I don't think I've played a Metroidvania-type-deal since Hollow Knight on the Switch, and this looks pretty sick.