White neon is a first person shooter, period. It’s coming to Nintendo Switch and Steam, and on PC, it uses standard WASD and mouse input. It’s not on rails, and in fact, freedom of movement and speed are key parts of the gameplay. Players earn medals for beating levels quickly, adding a delectable layer of speedrunning to the game.
Actions and weapons are increased by floating cards strewn across the sky platforms or left by slain enemies.
“All the vanity of playing the game lies in the cards which are both weapons and movement,” Esposito said. “The way it works is you start with just a handgun, like a little katana card, and you swipe it. And then all the weapons you get in the level are either from them in the world or if you kill an enemy sometimes they drop a card. And when you take the card, you can now use it as a gun. It has a certain number of hits, depending on the weapon it is, or you can throw it, which would essentially suppress it. And in return, you will get some sort of movement ability.
Take the Godspeed card, for example. If you choose to use it as a firearm, it is essentially a four-shot rifle, precise and powerful. But, if you discard it, it’s a dash that slaughters pretty much any enemies you pass through. These card discard decisions follow each other quickly in the game, as players catapult each other from one celestial platform to another.
Every action is extreme in White neon.
“When you jump, you jump three humans high,” Esposito said. “When you move, you go really, really, really far. So it’s like a first person platformer in something I really love about these old school games is that they can be nice and wide and clear and they can be a bit abstract in the way the levels are built, which allows me to make some really interesting and weird layouts.
It also allows Esposito to get weird regarding the second critical aspect of White neon:
“The story component is very important,” Esposito said. “It’s 100% structured around the story, which is weird for some sort of fast shooter. It’s not something that I think has really been done.
White neonThe story begins with simple vanity. You wake up in Heaven not knowing how you got there, and you are immediately thrown into a competition to be the best demon slayer and earn a permanent place beyond the Pearly Gates. The point is, all of the other demon slayers seem to know you, and you don’t remember anyone.
Most of the narrative takes place in inter-mission dialogue scenes. The missions consist of 10 levels of rapid fire, card throwing, and demon slay each, with story rhythms scattered around.
“And then you have the opportunity to spend some time in paradise,” Esposito said. “You talk to all the other characters, and you can get them gifts and stuff for them. It’s kind of a dating simulation stuff and you can give them gifts to deepen your relationship, and they’ll give you things back to give them gifts. So you can do some interesting side quests and things that will deepen the relationship even more. “