Ultra-Indie Spotlight Sunday: DoubleWe

You’re walking through the crowd, eyes twitching, paranoid and alert. You’re in some kind of prison or refugee camp on a nameless planet and the other prisoners shuffle about. Somewhere in the crowd, one of these prisoners is trying to kill you. And that prisoner looks exactly like yourself. All you can do is hope to find some kind of weapon and put down your doppelganger before they find you first. 

Conceptual Meta-Wank:

One thing I always felt that the Hitman games were lacking was some kind of existential threat. Sure, it’s great fun to find a nice costume and set up your kill. But what if Agent 47 had to worry about Agent 48 trying the same thing on him? It’s great fun being the hunter, and equally fun when you are hunted yourself.

DoubleWe is pretty much taking on that same concept. You have an evil clone hunting you down and you must hunt him down first. This horror game is genuinely unique in that instead of isolating you in a spooky scary place, it plants you right in the middle of a crowd of normal people and gives you the knowledge that one of those ordinary faces is gonna try sneaking up and putting a knife in you. 

Non-Wanky Game Recap:

You start out in DoubleWe with a shard of mirrored glass, which has the benefit of letting you see what’s behind you as well as what your randomly generated character looks like. The latter is most important, because all of these pixelated civilians look about the same, and you need to quickly recognize a certain shirt color and hairstyle in the crowd. After that, it’s up to you to find a weapon stashed in a suitcase (of which are not too hard to find, thank god) and get hunting. You only have one shot to close the gap and stab your clone or level a gun and shoot before it’s all over. 

What Works:

DoubleWe, as I previously stated, takes place in an ostensibly not-that-scary place. I really can’t think of any other game that places you in a crowd of people; even DoubleWe’s contemporaries like Among Us don’t have a setting like this one. It’s a fascinating way to use paranoia of ordinary citizens as the primary driver of scares. Indeed, when this game launches the multiplayer amogus mode, I think having more people around than just fellow team members could make the experience that much more interesting. 

What Doesn’t:

It’s hard to say this early. DoubleWe doesn’t have many faults, and similarly, does not have all that much variety too. The demo shows off a few weapons—knife, gun, dynamite, and maybe some more I missed—but beyond that, I’m unsure what else the game has to offer in the sense of novelty. DoubleWe’s Steam page claims it is a roguelite, and I am very interested in seeing what that has to offer to the game. 

How To Fix It:

Some aspects I noticed like the ability to drop a bunch of steel girders on an area seemed useless because you could not lure your doppelganger to the right spot. That, and a video in the trailer of a smoke bomb, got me thinking of the interesting use of subterfuge in this experience. Perhaps DoubleWe could expand on the trickery from both sides. A hologram that paces back and forth, or an active stealth kit that could make you invisible but unable to use weapons for a short period, something like that. Setting this game in what seems to be a dystopian future gives the developers a lot more to work with.

Wanky Musings:

Truthfully, I never played Among Us or any of the like. It seemed neat, but unless you were playing with a group of friends, the experience could be left lacking. DoubleWe has come up with an ingenious solution, making an amogus-style game that could be great both in a party or solo, with the simple addition of adding a big group of NPC strangers to the mix. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this game goes in development, as this could be something incredible.

You can try the DoubleWe demo on Steam by clicking here