Always Sometimes Monsters has been on my watch list ever since Alissa wrote up her hands-on impressions of the time she spent with the game during PAX Prime. When I found out that the build they were showing at PAX East was different from the one Alissa played through, I went down to the Vagabond Dog booth to take a look at the new demo.
The game starts off with you naming your character and their love interest; in the time-honored tradition of gamers everywhere, I named them BUTTS and BUTT. After those clever and very mature naming choices, the game started up and took me through a few years of my character’s life. My BUTTS’ journey in the demo takes her from an ambitious college student’s first encounter with her love to a failed author who lost that love to another. The devs made a concerted effort to show the diversity options within the game with regards to race and sexual orientation so every playthrough of the build completely randomized the character you play as, their love interest, and their sexuality. My BUTTS was an African-American woman and her BUTT was Latina.
I won’t spoil the end of the demo but let’s just say it involves an anarchist labor union, a roof, and a prank involving pooping on someone’s car gone wrong. This all occurs about halfway through the game and you can see how it can shape individual playthroughs.
Playing the game, what stood out most to me was the amount of dialogue choice possible and how free you are to respond to situations as maturely or petulantly as you want. Even the responses in Mass Effect seem binary in comparison to the choices you have here. Choosing to pick up a tool or not towards the beginning of the demo can affect an encounter at the end.
I enjoy games that let me craft my own character rather than giving a character stuck on a predictable linear path and from what I’ve played, Always Sometimes Monsters looks to fit that bill. The game releases on Steam on May 21st and you can preorder it HERE.