God Hand Hands-On - Shaking Hands (and Fists)

We get a close-up look at Capcom's new stylish beat-'em-up action game.

Capcom recently stopped by with a new build of God Hand, a new brawling action game from Clover Studios, the developers behind Viewtiful Joe and the upcoming Okami. While we had the opportunity to play the game at E3, this visit yielded up quite a bit more information on the title, so read on for more information on this decidedly unique beat-'em-up.

Some of your special abilities are powerful enough to literally send an enemy into orbit, completely removing them from a fight.

The plot of God Hand (which seems to be forwarded by plenty of offbeat, humorously voiced in-game cutscenes before each mission) revolves around a drifter named Jean who attempts to rescue a girl after witnessing her being attacked by thugs. In the ensuing melee, he gets an arm cut off, and wakes up later with the mystical God Hand attached to his stump. It's this magic arm that enables Jean to fight with prowess--and he'll need his newfound abilities, as he's suddenly forced to fight off large numbers of enemies who each want to possess the God Hand for themselves. It sounds serious, but the game plays with the theme in a lighthearted manner and is filled with prototypically Japanese humor and slapstick antics. If you've ever wanted to play through a level of a fighting game with a big "Kick Me" sign attached to your character's back, then this game is for you.

That said, if you're just looking for a game that lets you show off your fighting skills, then God Hand might be just the thing to tide you over until Devil May Cry 4 comes out. We had a chance to see plenty of the game's fighting engine, and we can already tell that it's going to satisfy players who are looking for some slick and inventive action.

At its core, the gameplay isn't too complicated. You have a standard four-punch combo that's usable by tapping the square button four times, strong punch and kick attacks on the triangle and X buttons, and a context-sensitive finisher attack on the circle button. The four-punch combo, however, isn't set in stone; in one of the game's more interesting nods to customization, you can actually edit the attack combo with new techniques that you find on dead enemies or buy from the game's shop. So, for instance, if you wanted to change the third punch in the four-punch combo from a standard shot to the jaw to a "pimp hand" backslap, you can change that particular attack and leave the rest alone. Or, if you're a bit more adventurous, you can customize the entire combo to suit your particular desires; if you want a combo that deals pure damage, you can go for that, or pure speed, or a combo that emphasizes juggles or even a specific style of fighting, like the "drunken monkey." Your left analog stick will also let you perform different maneuvers during your combos or strong attacks, for extra versatility.

From what we've seen of the game, you can expect to see plenty of low blows in God Hand. Ouch!

As in Devil May Cry 3, there's no blocking ability, so if you want to avoid damage, you have to take advantage of the built-in dodging maneuver, which is bound to the right analog stick. Pressing it forward will duck your head out of the way; you can continue to tap it forward to attempt to avoid a combo headed your way. Pressing left or right will cause you to quickly dash out of the way, while pressing backward will cause you to perform a speedy backflip. It takes some getting used to, but backflipping away from a powerful attack just in the nick of time is a great feeling.

In addition, there are free finishing attacks that you're capable of performing if you happen to make an enemy dizzy before you kill them. When this occurs, the circle button will let you start one of the finishers. There aren't any crazy God of War combos to proceed with here; you simply mash the circle button to perform a single action over and over again.

In addition, there are a couple of tweaks to the formula that allow you to deal extra damage. The first is the Roulette attack. When you have enough power charged up (which you earn in combat), you can tap the R2 button, which pops up a wheel of special powers. You have a limited amount of time to select something, and some of them use up more power than others, but these powers are a good way to earn an instant kill when you're desperate, or to just deal a huge amount of damage to a group of enemies. Examples of this include the Daisy Cutter, which launches your opponent into the air before spinning them around rapidly, and the wicked bullet kick seen in the E3 trailer, which actually launches your foe so far into the air that they disappear into the sky. (Note that while maneuvers like this are usually instant kills, powerful enemies will simply fall back from the sky and continue their attack!)

The power-ups and pickups in God Hand are decidedly odd. We're not even sure what the heck this strawberry's for.

Second is the God Hand itself. When you charge up your God Hand meter, you can use it for a short burst of superpowers. As with the Devil Trigger in Devil May Cry 3, you temporarily move more quickly, deal more damage, and are invulnerable while the effect lasts. We only saw Jean being capable of using basic attacks more rapidly during this mode, but we'd be surprised if there weren't some kind of special attacks specifically designed for this mode in the final game.

All in all, God Hand is looking like it's going to be a fun, stylish beat-'em-up that should appeal to fans of freeform fighting systems, like those featured in Devil May Cry 3. The ability to create your own combos and tailor Jean's fighting style to your own particular tastes will ensure that every player can find something for him or her. We'll have more info on God Hand as it approaches its October release date.

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43 comments
fibu
fibu

Flying spin kick anyone? Where's chun li :-)

ewjim
ewjim

Looking good, VERY good!!! I must put it to my wish list, NOW! :P

renatodias
renatodias

very good. very deby. super scary....

karahasan
karahasan

DMC may have "better character designs" and a more prestigious status, but the game's charm is that it doesnt take things too seriously, something you hardly find in games nowadays (because everyone thinks you're a wuss if you dont play these so-called "serious, cool and mature" games). Hope Capcom pulls this off nicely.

KomboBreaker
KomboBreaker

I just hope it plays/handles well. No clunky controlls please!

mortul
mortul

ya gota love the low blows (ouch again)

LineDetail
LineDetail

Would be nice if we could have a game where we just play as ourselves. -Line

PaLoY21
PaLoY21

The game looks like something i'd enjoy playing before heading to work or something i'd play to kill some time.

no1_laziest_guy
no1_laziest_guy

sure, this is gonna be fun as long as this game doesnt resemble finalfight streetwise or beatdown:fists of vengeance

hilongo
hilongo

Well ... fun, combos and strawberries ... too many promises, so I hope CapCom can fullfill them all woohoo!!

oden_darklord
oden_darklord

Slick Combos, Flashy Style, Custom Fighting Control, what more could i ask for? Strawberries?... Hot dam it has those too. Definatly cant wait for this to come out ^_^

Pfilosophy
Pfilosophy

kabuki_tanooki, I saw those exact 3 games as well in the trailer. God Hand looks like it's gonna be very FotNS. That, of course, means I need it.

nmanma
nmanma

i think this game will have controls similar to DMC3, well cant wait for it to come out ,character design aint all that, but i wanna see some awesome combos and flashy moves

TheRealMantera
TheRealMantera

I think this will be a sweet game. I already want it. It has strawberrries. I am a big tool also.

kabuki_tanooki
kabuki_tanooki

lol! that trailer makes me thing this will be a combo of: Rizing Zan: Samurai Gunman Kung-Fu Hustle and FIst of The North Star. oh yeh. I think this is going to be a sweet game, I already want it

InfernoPirate
InfernoPirate

Strawberries are my favorite food you know. This looks like its going to be loads of fun.

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

That look hilarious I need get that

VicMackey
VicMackey

You're right, this does look a lot like DMC3, only with bland colors, boring character design, and an unappealing protagonist. I'm not getting this unless I happen to play a demo somewhere and really love the feel of the controls (which is possible).

Prince_jeffery
Prince_jeffery

Hmmm...have to wait for the reviews before getting this one

tokaizen
tokaizen

im gonna get this game for the strawberries!

pikadeth
pikadeth

Please mention Devil May Cry more in your next preview.

Deadgoath
Deadgoath

strawberries?? omg, this is gonna be fun!

Hwanch
Hwanch

The customization feature seems pretty cool.

jono546
jono546

this will probably be one of the last really good games for ps2 before ps3 comes out.it looks really good.i cant wait woooo

jimbobeebee724
jimbobeebee724

I think this going to be a sweet game, I already want it - w00t w00t!

rynmls
rynmls

I THINK THIS WILL BE A GREAT GAME CAUSE THEY'RE COMPARING THIS GAME TO DMC3

kpgamer6144
kpgamer6144

oh excellent. this will be well done, strawberries aside.

FernandoDANTE
FernandoDANTE

I think this going to be a sweet game, I already want it

hart704
hart704

I think this going to be a sweet game, I already want it

neozero9731
neozero9731

I think this going to be a sweet game, I already want it

Truth01
Truth01

I'm not sure about God Hand, I probably won't be sure until the review comes out. Anyways, the game sounds like something could definitely be there and it should appeal to some people.

cmhawk
cmhawk

cool - looks like its gonna b fun