Welcome Visoneers, to the future of theme park tycoons. Bandai Namco’s newest title Park Beyond seeks to push all the conventional boundaries to create a truly unique experience, both in design and execution. We got to have a little sneak peek and spend some time playing the latest build of Park Beyond, and it did not disappoint.
If you are like me and played any of the Roller Coaster Tycoon series in the past, you will understand that the roller coaster building in those games could be an absolute pain in the backside. Depending on your objectives, the individual piece selection can become tedious. Adding to the pain is having to stop and test run the physics which often leads to redesigning whole sections. Personally, I just used the default tracks.
“Park Beyond has an innovative new way to build the roller coaster of your dreams.”
I’m here to share that Park Beyond has an innovative new way to build the roller coaster of your dreams! Really. Their seamless track placement allows for incredibly smooth and easy design. Simply click and move where you want the tracks to go and click again to set. Want to add turns, rotations or change in height? It’s easy to hold a specific key while moving the mouse or to edit pre-placed track. Tunneling through mountains? Piece of cake. Just start the track on one side of the mountain, finish on the other. Instant tunnel action. Less fiddling equals more creativity and more fun. Well… that is the equation we are going on here. Long gone are the days of mass deconstruction too. The handy little ghost coaster is constantly testing your build so you can see on the fly how the physics of your absurd contraption will work.
“But you said it pushes conventional boundaries”, I hear you say. This is where the unpredictable and surprising enters. Ever thought of adding cannons to your coasters? Hang gliding coaster cars? Multi story Ferris wheels? Well now you can. The games “Impossification” system – a concept where technology, money and gravity are no insurmountable obstacles – seeks to find the absurd and make it possible.
Impossification isn’t just limited to coasters; you can jazz up flat rides, stores and even staff members. There is a global Impossification meter that helps you upgrade your attractions based on how well your park is doing. There seems to be multiple levels of upgrades too, offering more incentive to fill the bar and update your park. I enjoyed turning the Kraken ride from a simple swing ride to an undersea adventure complete with a giant octopus, as just one example. I’m eager to see what other Impossifications will be available at launch.
Park Beyond boasts flexibility for the player to make creative and unique parks. From modular tools for buildings and décor, with thousands of assets themed from Western to Space, to making the absurd come to life, Park Beyond aims to give maximum creative control with an easy to use UI alongside a complete story based campaign and sandbox mode.
Sharing coaster and building designs across PC and console platforms will bring a sense of community to the game that may assist in challenging players to create masterpieces from the weird to wonderful. I only imagine what genius we will find after launch. The game still has some development to go but the ideas and the bones are there. I admit I was skeptical at first but now I’m pretty excited to see where they go with the rest of the experience.
Park Beyond is set to release in 2023 for Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and PC. For those looking for an impossible twist to their construction and management sims, it is definitely one to put onto your wishlist.