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Anger Foot Preview: Rise Of The Blooter Shooter

It’s been ten years since the release of Devolver Digital’s first big hit, Hotline Miami, so it’s fitting that the publisher’s next game is essentially a first-person version of it. Anger Foot, revealed at the Devolver Digital Showcase last week, is an action game where you kick things. Doors, grenades, helicopters, alligators with crowbars, big balls of tangled up snakes that hide in toilets – whatever gets in your way, you kick. There’s something deeply satisfying about solving every problem with one explosive, bone-shattering kick, especially when your problem is a bunch of SMG-wielding dog-faced men who stole your favorite pair of shoes. This is the kind of lowbrow shit I crave.

There’s no hiding the Hotline Miami influence in Anger Foot. Each stage is a short run through an apartment (or sewer, or high rise) where you move from room to room killing everyone you can find. Enemies only take one kick or bullet to kill, while you can only survive a couple of bullets before you drop and have to restart the stage. The only way to enter a room is to blast door off the hinges with your foot, and you’ll usually get at least one free kill as the door smashes into an enemy on the other side. You have to have lightning-fast reflexes to clear the room from there, as you’ll typically find five or more enemies waiting on the other side, and most of them will be armed with pistols, shotguns, and grenades.

To defend yourself, you can kick, shoot, or throw your gun to stun an enemy, and that’s about it. Your options may seem limited at first, but they force you to be creative. You can line up an enemy so that your kick sends them flying into another one, AKA killing two birds with one kick, or you can use enemies as human shields by moving so that they’re in between you and an armed thug behind them. Sometimes it’s best to shoot the gunners in the back of the room first before you start unleashing a flurry of kicks at everyone else, and environmental hazards like gas cans and oil barrels will help you clear the entire room with a single bullet if you know where to shoot.

Death is frequent, but that’s just part of learning the levels. Everytime you’re forced to restart at the beginning of a mission you’ll have more knowledge about what’s waiting for you behind each door. When you eventually finish the whole level, you feel invisible. Predicting every move and dodging every bullet almost feels like choreography. You’re Bruce Lee on a kicking spree. You’re John Wick, except it’s John Kick.

Anger Foot comes from the creators of Gorn and Genital Jousting, and it has the same kind of absurd physical humor those games are known for. Enemies ragdoll when they die and fly all around the room, often ending up crumpled in the corner is a compromising position. If you’re going for a full clear in any level, you’ll have to kick open the bathroom stalls and take out anyone you find inside, even if they’re just trying to use the toilet – don’t worry, their junk is blurred out. There are tentacle monsters that erupt from the sewers and awkwardly swing their knives at you, and there are bad guys who have literal bombs for heads, who can be sent hurtling into other enemies with a flying kick. The whole game has a pulse-pounding EDM soundtrack that enemies will twerk to when they kill you. There’s plenty of feet stuff too, which if you ask me, is disgusting and should be illegal.

There’s a demo for Anger Foot available right now as part of Steam Next Fest, which features the first 11 levels, one boss fight, and about half of the shoes you can unlock. Every level challenges you to finish under the time limit, kill every enemy, and kill everyone only using your kick. Completing these objectives and a handful of global challenges will unlock new shoes that dramatically change the game. My favorites include a pair of shoes that turn every door you kick into a bomb and one that effectively turns off gravity so you can fly around delivering Liu Kang-style bicycle kicks. There’s also a pair of shoes that activates slow motion everytime you kick open a door, which is both stylish and useful for getting the drop on enemies.

Anger Foot doesn’t come out until next year unfortunately, but make sure you check out the demo this week on Steam. I’m shocked we had to wait this long for a first-person take on Hotline Miami, but Anger Foot looks like it will be well worth the wait.

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