Double Fine Games is a quirky publisher with a library full of games that have no business being as fun as they are. Here we are again, another game and an excellent adventure that takes you to places that bring a solid experience to those who spend the time with Headlander.
The story itself is crazy and it fits right in at Double Fine. You are the last human being made of flesh and blood. The future has created a new future where our consciousness is in the cloud and all that is left is a head, your head. You are recruited by Earl who needs your help to fight Methuselah who is in charge and is an evil AI. You’re tasked with fighting Methuselah.
Headlander feels like a pulpy science fiction story from the 1970’s and it’s nothing too intricate, but, it’s enough to keep you going to discover just what is going on in the Future.
Headlander fills the void of the often missing Metroidvania genre. The retro setting feels like a welcome fit. The gameplay definitely feels more like Metroid, requiring certain equipment to progress past a security room and onto the next challenge.
While you play a flying head on a robotic body, you are more than capable of surviving the challenges thrown at you by using the vacuum powers of the helmet you are equipped with. This power allows you to grab and pull enemies from their own bodies and swap out your head with theirs, this allows you to control the weapons equipped on that body or get past a door that only that body has clearance to get through. The gameplay is wacky but plays well in the environment you are in; this doesn’t feel like it would work elsewhere.
As you progress through the ship, you will come upon welcome upgrades that will enable you to be more effective in stopped the “Shepherds,” the army of Methuselah who possess a space station as their own. This also allows you to get to otherwise unreachable areas in the game.
The game features puzzles that will require you to find and discover the right body to take over that will get you where you need to go, this will only be hindered by how well you keep the body you possess.
Headlander is so far out there in terms of story and gameplay that only a studio like Double Fine can successfully pull it off. The gameplay mechanics works in favour of the story and the retro feeling that this game gives off is a welcome gimmick. The fast pace and fair difficulty make this a worthy addition to any library.