Earlier this year, Microsoft trademarked the title Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, and I was fortunate enough to get to see it behind closed doors at E3 this year. The game is scheduled for an early 2014 release on the XBox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade title. Marlow Briggs will be published by 505 Games, the publishers of Terraria, Sniper Elite and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This game is designed after the high action movies of the 80’s and 90’s that feature explosions, dismemberment, more explosions, platforming, big guns, even more explosions and helicopters exploding. The story starts off with Marlow’s girlfriend translating ancient Aztec script for some really bad people. She realizes her mistake when she notices that they are tearing down the ruins instead of preserving them and decides to quit. Fearing what they might do to her, she brings Marlow in as the muscle and subsequently gets him killed.
As Marlow lays there dying, an ancient Aztec Death Mask revives him so he can hunt down his killers and free his girlfriend. The game seems like a God of War clone but with explosions, partially because Marlow carries a giant spear with large blades on both ends of it. Marlow Briggs wields his spear with expert precision as he uses a God of War-like combo system with medium and hard attacks, launching enemies into the air and timed blocks that reflect rocket fire back at the enemy. The game has red, blue and yellow glowing masks that allow Marlow to level up along with his weapon. There is plenty of platforming as almost every structure Marlow Briggs can fight on will get blown up, forcing him to move from place to place. During my demo run through the game, a member of 505 Games explained “the game centers around the 80’s and 90’s action movies and there’s going to be lots of explosions.” I have to admit, the game looks nice and was a lot fun to play even though it still needs some polish. Being an African American, it’s cool to see an African American lead character in a game because there aren’t a lot out there. I am personally interested in seeing how this game turns out. Is his character type going to be that of Jessie Jackson, Action Jackson or Black Dynamite?
If you’re interested in action games with lots of explosions and God of War style of gameplay, then Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death is the game for you.