Steam Next Fest: Death Trash is a gristly, gorgeous, and subtly funny RPG

Death Trash is a silly name, let's get that out of the way. It's a tiny bit Hoxton marketing agency for me, a bit Punk IPA. But do not let that put you off! Death Trash is a looker, in that very vogue, twisted pixel arty kind of way, but it's more than its good looks, and another highlight from a very indie-friendly E3 – and Steam's ongoing Next Fest.

In fact it's actually a very nicely pitched RPG, a Fallout built within indie budget confines. Character creation is flexible – a mix of ages, races, body types and some neat outfits including a cape, love a good cape. You have a set of core abilities – hardiness, strength, finesse, occultism, cybertech, and empathy – governing what you're capable of doing. Most of those are familiar enough, empathy gatekeeping certain dialogue options for instance, cybertech what types of gear you can equip, but occultism is obviously the most curious, letting you summon little living globs of flesh to fight by your side.

It's hard to read too much into how those skills will open the game up, seeing as the demo, part of that Steam Next Fest going on now, is on the short side at around an hour and a half, and running from the very start of the game. But the potential is there. Already, from the off, certain avenues were closed off or at least narrower, thanks to how I built my character towards occultism – obviously – and ranged attacks, neglecting empathy (who needs that in the post-apocalypse?) and lockpicking (or that?). And already I love this, a little opportunity to replay, to circle back, have another conversation again.

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