'Pokémon with guns' is already the most hyped game of 2024

'Pokémon with guns' is already the most hyped game of 2024
Palworld - Official Trailer
Automoto TV - Gaming / VideoElephant

The name ‘Palworld’ might sound pretty cutesy – the kind of thing your 7-year-old niece might be into – but don’t be fooled.

The gaming community’s latest hot newbie has earned its nickname “Pokémon with guns” for a reason.

The latest trailer, released on 9 January, begins with nursery music-box style music, as a flurry of bouncy, colourful animals fill the screen.

But then flames, weapons and rifles start to sweep the action, showing this is far from child’s play.

The game, described by its creators Pocketpair, as “a brand new multiplayer monster-collecting game with open-world survival elements,” will be released on Friday (19 January), but already streamers are obsessed.

Palworld | Early Access Release Date Announcement Trailer |

We first learned of the bizarre Pokémon-like creatures – called Pals – back in 2021, when the first trailer came out.

Since then, it has emerged that players not only hunt and fight with the animals, they can also sell them, eat them and even exploit them through hard labour.

“In a harsh environment where food is scarce and vicious poachers roam, danger waits around every corner,” a description on the game’s Steam page reads.

“To survive, you must tread carefully and make difficult choices...even if that means eating your own Pals when the time comes.”

It also adds ominously: “Build a factory, place a Pal in it, and they’ll keep working as long as they’re fed – until they’re dead, that is.”

Will you set your Pals to work?(Pocketpair)

Indeed, unlike the camaraderie felt by Pokémon trainers and their pocket monsters, players are encouraged to be brutal with their Pals, as one influencer found out.

NoahJ was given early access to the game, which he played on Tuesday – streaming it to his 5.2 million YouTube followers.

As he explored its features, he was urged by a member of his chat group to pull out a “butcher’s knife” from his onscreen character’s inventory.

Much to NoahJ’s horror, his digital persona then used the meat cleaver to brutally kill a pink cat pal.

“Palworld is brutal,” the streamer concluded, although he clearly was enjoying himself.

And, sure enough, he’s not the only one – with early reviews proving resoundingly positive.

To be clear, the game isn’t just about blowing up or butchering candy-coloured creatures, it also features base-building and crafting – meaning it can largely be summed up as “Pokémon with guns meets Minecraft in Fortnite.”

But perhaps the most exciting news for players is that it will be available on Xbox Game Pass from day one, as well as Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC and Steam.

It may be brutal, but Palworld already looks set to be big.

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