A new trailer has debuted for oddball indie horror title Choo-Choo Charles, showing off its quirky gameplay and, at long last, pinning down a firm release date.
The demented brainchild of solo-developer Two Star — who, for months, has been documenting his project’s journey on YouTube — Choo-Choo Charles turned heads when its insane concept was revealed to the world last October.
The basic gist is that you are being relentlessly terrorized by a demonic steam train, one that is capable of (quite literally) going off the rails and scurrying around on a set of icky spider legs.
Structured like a vindictive duel between you and your locomotive nemesis, the game has a permanently-gurning Charles (imagine Thomas the Tank Engine if he were being unconvincingly mimicked by Pennywise the Clown) stalking you across an open-world map. To have even the vaguest chance of surviving here, you must gradually level up your own Mad Max-style train so that it can hold its own in sustained battle.
Among other things, you’ll need to find superior weaponry to mount on your rear caboose, aid NPCs that will provide you with much-needed resources, complete optional task and collect scrap metal which can in turn be exchanged for upgrades. Then, once you’ve adequately prepared, you’ll be able to summon Charles for a final showdown.
It’s essentially an epic, game-long boss fight, with side missions sprinkled throughout that help you even the odds a little. In that sense, it’s comparable to how everything you do in Breath of the Wild is all in service of the ultimate goal of defeating Calamity Ganon.
While most of the gameplay footage previously shown off by Two Star has, understandably, focussed on his attention-grabbing villain, the latest trailer gives you a more comprehensive overview of the whole Choo-Choo Charles experience.
As we can glean from the frenetic montage, a great deal of your time will be spent operating your train, switching between different tracks, and using turret guns to keep Charles at bay. However, when you’re not being so aggressively harassed, you will have an opportunity to stretch your legs and wander around on foot.
The trailer demonstrates a few of the mechanics that you will need to master in these quieter sections, including lockpicking, platforming and even stealth. When it comes to the latter, there appear to be interior environments that you can explore for a brief reprieve from Charles, although these dungeons are seemingly patrolled by gun-toting psychopaths instead. Suffice it to say, you’ll never be totally safe.
Not to mention, the trailer also provides a quick glimpse at the train customisation system, which has both a cosmetic and functional effect on your carriages. It’s hard to tell how extensive the options will be here, but even just applying a different coat of paint will help to make your steel behemoth feel like it’s truly your own.
Finally, the trailer reveals one other important detail: the game’s release date. After months of ambiguity, we can now confirm that Choo-Choo Charles will launch on Steam on Friday, December 9th, 2022.
Pricing information has yet to be confirmed, but you can add the game to your Wishlist now.