I can bet you’ve never played anything like Gang Beasts before. Well, unless you are familiar with Human: Fall Flat. Gang Beasts is simply ridiculous and one of the most enjoyable games you’ll ever play with a group of friends.
But is Gang Beasts cross-platform? The official Twitter account for Gang Beasts posted an update in June of 2021, stating that crossplay will be available between Xbox and PC. However, they also said that PlayStation users can’t play with other console/ PC players.
The main draw of this game is you have some fun with your friends for a few minutes. And that’s why I find it weird that the devs took so long to implement crossplay, even though the game itself has been out since December of 2017.
Apparently, they also removed 2-player local multiplayer with one keyboard so you now require 2 controllers for local 2-player.
What Kind of Game is Gang Beasts?
It’s a simple brawler/ beat ‘em up with cartoon graphics and several arenas in which groups of colorful man-beast things fight with each other. The game relies on its environments to knock out players, you don’t just punch someone until their HP goes down. Instead, you can drop players into hazards that are present across each level.
For example, there will be a boxing ring with ropes. And in order to defeat someone, you simply carry them and toss their body outside the ropes.
Sometimes you will be fighting in an engine room with a set of roller grinders built into the walls and floor so whoever falls in there gets shredded. Certain levels are on skyscrapers or similar high places, so falling off will result in a knockout.
You can choose from a variety of colorful characters. They wear different outfits which can be customized in the main menu or before you load into a match. There are anthropomorphic chickens, bears, dinosaurs, and tigers. And everybody wants to beat the living daylights out of each other.
Battles take place in abandoned factories, skyscrapers, and every other place you can think of inside a metropolis. Plus, new updates add even more insane levels so you can always expect a fantastic backdrop and new hazards for every fight.
How’s The Combat In Gang Beasts?
If you’re expecting this to play like Mortal Kombat or Super Smash Bros, you’ll be very disappointed. Every move you make is lousy, slow, and uncoordinated. Your hands move in one direction while your feet go in the opposite direction. When you try to hit someone, your jelly-like arms flail in vain attempts to land a strike.
But I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t fun. In fact, it’s one of the most hilarious fighting games you’ll ever play. And everything gets amplified when you’re playing with friends because you will see some really weird things happen in every round.
Players hopelessly attempting to knock each out other while someone randomly walks into a hazard, taunts being thrown around, and people ganging up on a lone fighter.
Every stage is unique and extremely colorful, plus the type of hazards you get can vary. Sometimes you’re on a skyscraper’s window cleaning platform, and two of these platforms are linked by a loose wooden plank. People are fighting on the plank, and suddenly it decides to fall down.
The World of Gang Beasts
You don’t have any lore or story to explore in this game, it’s all a series of matches in which players try to be the last one standing. Think of Gang Beasts as its own cartoony universe in which there’s always a Battle Royale happening in some corner of the city.
Oh, and the city itself is called Beef City (probably because everyone has beef with everyone else).
And nothing can be taken seriously (if the gelatinous anthropomorphic animals didn’t give it away). Why are people fighting next to a giant industrial fan while standing on disintegrating floors with fires surrounding them? Don’t ask questions, just enjoy the game.
The game was originally created by taking inspiration from classics like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. Physics takes priority over character animations and graphics.
Fighting Tips For Newcomers
Each character may look different but has access to the exact same set of moves. There are 3 basic things you need to focus on- punches, grabs, and jumps.
At first, it may not seem like much. But get into a match and veteran players will wipe the floor with you. That’s because there are certain moves that the community has come up with over the last 4 years since this game was released.
For instance, you might want to favor grabbing over punching random people like a madman. That’s because your opponents need to spam punch or jump around like a gazelle on drugs to get rid of your hold. Grabbing also makes it less likely that you’ll fall out of bounds, and if you do you might take someone with you.
Grabbing will also tire people out by draining their stamina as they attempt to break your hold. Then, when they are finally exhausted, you can pull them over to the nearest hazard and get rid of them.
Oh, and even though the fight mechanics are extremely shallow in Gang Beasts, people have managed to come with secret tricks. Like the “Dirt Feeder”. Basically, you grab someone’s leg and lift them up like a wet towel, only to slam them back into the ground for an instant KO.
There’s also the “Resting Knockout” in which you lay on the ground playing dead only to release your body like a coiled-up spring. To do this, you need to X, B, and A on your controller at the same time (for Xbox style controllers). For PlayStation-style controllers, it’s the square, circle, and X buttons.
The Resting Knockout sends you flying into enemies like Superman. And your flying punch is quite strong, it may sometimes send people out of bounds. There are a few other tricks you will learn about as you play the game and familiarize yourself with its controls.
I want to caution you against running into the center of the stage when rounds start. It turns into a large brawl fest and if you go in at the start swinging your fists, you might slip off an edge or get grabbed.
So let the fight play out and look for openings. Keep moving because people might be teaming up with each other. Sometimes you can place yourself in spots that are dangerous enough so people won’t find it worth their time to come over and grab you.
One thing many newcomers don’t realize is that costumes often affect hitbox sizes. A larger hitbox makes it easier for others to grab you. And a really outrageous costume just means you get spotted sooner and draw more attention to yourself.
As a final tip, I advise you to never get cornered. If you get cornered, everyone just dogpiles on top of you and makes it impossible for you to sneak away. Have an exit strategy, like standing near a platform so you can jump to it when someone starts chasing you.