Traxmaster Software made another appearance to PAX WEST in Seattle Washington, and I had the opportunity to see the Exception once again at the Indie Megabooth mini-booth. I originally played Exception at PAX EAST in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this year, and really enjoyed what the game is offering. My hands-on preview could be read here. Having already become familiar with the game, I checked out the latest build, which featured a brand new level to tackle, specifically for the attendants at Pax West.
The special level involved a rotating coil, with multiple platforms on several levels. The goal was to make it to the top and destroy the virulent cell at the top. The ascension would not be easy as the stage has electrical borders on both sides, along with quick moving, rotating platforms. Armed only with my sword and a specialized suit, I plunged into the level, determined to complete the stage and be among the very few that can say that I completed a PAX West specific challenge.
From the start, I died repeatedly. I missed a step, missed a jump, or miscalculated the speed and momentum to which I was trying to achieve a jump. However, I kept trying. The level never felt unfair, but something that encouraged me to continue trying. Not many games can give you that “one more time” feeling. if Exception, a game in development, can give such a sensation, that is certainly a very strong sign that the game is shaping up very well. As I proceeded through the level, there were some tricks thrown at me, such as platforms rotating in a different direction and interrupting the flow of a jump. Still, I continued to persevere, learning the hit points and precisions of the jumps in Exception.
After a short amount of time, I finally made it to the very top of the stage. It was going to be a difficult jump, as missing it meant starting over. The goal was to use my laser sword to slice a virulent cell at the top. My first attempt was unsuccessful, as my sword missed and I fell right into the deadly barrier on the right-hand side. However, I was eager to try again, once more. I carefully plotted my jumps, running, and speed. Eventually, I made it to the top, and with a triumphant swing, swiped the virus and completed the level. It was a really solid achievement.
In addition to the gameplay, I noticed significant improvements to the overall gameplay experience. The visuals appeared to be brighter, and much more detailed. I was able to see pieces of armor on my character. The animations appeared to be sharper as well and the background appeared to be alive, instead of stagnant. it gave the impression of a computer truly come to life. I talked to Will Traxler, the developer. and he indicates that the game is nearly done, and is actively considering console ports, especially for the Nintendo Switch. Based upon what I played, Exception will quite an exciting game to play for all.
Exception is slated for release on Steam in 2019, with consoles to possibly follow after.