I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you aren’t familiar with ExeKiller. After all, it has been quite some time since the reveal trailer dropped back in 2021, and that trailer was mostly atmospheric, with some NPC interaction thrown in for good measure.

Today, seemingly out of the blue, Paradark Studio dropped the first look at what players can expect from moment-to-moment gameplay in ExeKiller. This is a vertical slice as it stands now, since the trailer makes it very clear this is still pre-alpha footage.

That being said, what we see is a solid four minutes and twenty-six seconds of what looks like actual — if not heavily scripted — gameplay, with a glimpse at basic exploration and a nice little combat sequence to end things out. It’s nice to see that the New Vegas-y, Bladerunner 2049 color palette and general vibe is still intact, which for me was one of the big draws of the original ExeKiller reveal trailer. I’m also getting some mild and surprising Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath vibes.

In this new trailer, the player character is a futuristic bounty hunter, on a mission to collect as many S.O.U.L.S as they can — S.O.U.L.S are seemingly a form of currency or status. The trailer seems to drop in mid-mission, when the protagonist is rummaging through a derelict roadside gas station. Upon approaching the second of the two main structures, a rumpus can be heard in the distance, so the protag pulls out an Alien-style tracker that alerts them to the presence and location of nearby hostiles. I really dig this mechanic, and really hope it makes the final cut.


I’ve always thought that just using a minimap to see every enemy NPC, or tagging them and having overhead icons follow them around, is a bit too gamey for my tastes. Granted, I always use these mechanics when given them, but seeing a more nuanced approach to this feature is a nice touch.

But a cool enemy tracker isn’t all that the player character comes equipped with, as we see they also have a blowing-holes-in-stuff revolver, which has a digital display that clearly shows the ammo count and number of bullets in the chamber. This is another mechanic that I wish more games would incorporate to get away from the on-screen HUD clutter.

I will admit that the actual combat in the trailer is a little stiff. Of course, it appears the protagonist is taking on three gas-station-attendant robots, so it’s possible these are just low-level grunts without any deeper combat programming. I would like to imagine that, once you go up against higher-value targets, the enemies won’t be this much of a pushover.


Even though this section didn’t blow me away, the effects of the robots being blasted to pieces seem pretty cool, and coupled with the more cowoby-ish, Westerny quips and musings from the protag, it all feeds into the overall vibe of ExeKiller. I think it’s very effective.

Overall, this new trailer has gone a long way towards showcasing ExeKiller in a positive light. Not only does the general tone of the game still feel interesting — especially in contrast with the oversaturated neon and rain-drenched nighttime city streets that have been so pervasive in cyberpunk video games — but the combat and exploration look solid enough as well.

It’s seemingly early days still, as no concrete release date or even window has been offered. But if nothing else it’s nice to see the different, yet still inspired and familiar, take on the genre that ExeKiller is trafficking in. And really, who doesn’t love a good noir-style futuristic bounty-hunting story?

You can check out the trailer below, and if you are interested, and you can also head over to the Steam page to wishlist it, should you be so compelled.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x