If you attended PAX Aus 2017 you may remember a competitive western shooter set in an aerial battlefield. That game was Sky Noon and it was part of the PAX indie showcase, always managing to draw a healthy crowd and bolstering a fun competitive atmosphere. Thankfully the game is now available and playable outside of gaming exhibitions, because it has just launched onto Steam Early Access.
Sky Noon is a first-person shooter than borrows mechanics you would typically find in brawling games like Super Smash Bros. You’re not firing bullets but instead bursts of air as you attempt to blow your opponent off the edge of the floating battlefield. Add to this some quick and controllable air movements thanks to a grappling hook, lasso, and a diverse loud-out of weapons and abilities, and suddenly you have a frenetic and unique multiplayer experience.
I’ve been playing Sky Noon for the past week, against friends and also taking on the small but dedicated online community. Whilst the game is still in Early Access it very much feels like a complete and enjoyable experience and one definitely worth checking out.
Matches run smoothly and quickly. The movement system built in to the game is the real winner here with usage of your grappling hook becoming second nature the more you play. Like a Wild West Spider-Man you are given the tools to zip around the arena with ease. Good positioning is the name of the game as you grapple behind your unsuspecting foes and blast them off the edge of the map.
Weapons and abilities mix up your playstyle as you mess around and discover your favourites. Things range fairly drastically here although they will all help you with positioning, movement, and defeating your competition. There is certainly room for expansion in this realm although it is absolutely functional in its current state.
There are also a range of maps and game modes available to players that include things such as Free For All and King of the Hill. The diversity found here is awesome, perhaps even excessive for a game still in Early Access.
The game has quite a dedicated playerbase although it is very small for now. Jumping in you’ll need to connect to a server to join in the fun and unfortunately this is where things have the potential to go wrong. Whilst I had the opportunity to play some games with friends, a solo player will need to rely on random players from across the world. Not many servers seem to be populated at any given time and whilst there always seems to be a game available to jump in to that server won’t always be the optimal choice. Latency issues will be a big problem if you can’t connect to a server located near your own region and unfortunately Australian / New Zealand players seem to be few and far between, even though the game was developed in New Zealand.
Sky Noon is a huge amount of fun and I wouldn’t let a small playerbase scare you off too much, especially if you have a friend to play with. As the game continues to develop the playerbase will hopefully continue to grow. It’s certainly the kind of game likely to attract and keep an audience.
Grapple in and get your air pistol loaded. It’s Sky Noon.