GDC 11: Trenched! Double Fine’s New WWI Mech Game

Tim Schafer was the consummate MC at Wednesday night’s Game Developer’s Choice Awards, effortlessly contending with Anthony Carboni, the irreverent host of the Independent Games Festival Awards (which preceded the GDCA), matching him joke for joke and laugh for laugh.

Though Schafer has recently cemented his position as the go-to host for any serious gaming awards event, his tuxedoed presence athwart the GDC stage was not entirely pro bono. Once the event’s big award had been given out (Game of the Year, to Red Dead Redemption), the Double Fine founder launched into an amusing monologue about manliness, promising that he had a video in store that would be almost too manly to handle.

Whether or not that claim was true is a discussion for another day. What is clear is the fact that this video was the first trailer for Double Fine’s next downloadable gem: Trenched. As a martial, propaganda-film narrator introduced us to proceedings, purple aliens poured out of a deformed mothership, hurling themselves pell-mell at a variety of retro-futuristic looking battleships that held the human forces.

As the trailer continued, we were introduced to the game’s essential mechanic. Players will pilot a variety of hulking, infinitely customizable battle mechs (mobile trench war platforms, I believe the game called them) fighting the the alien menace with all the firepower at their disposal. One shot in the trailer ran through a dizzying array of possible mech configurations, making it abundantly clear that the Double Fine art department had been working overtime on gun turrets, mortar tubes, and other modular mechanisms of mayhem. Games are a medium in which World War II has been done to death, resurrected in a secret Nazi lab, then killed again, and hybrid between Sci-Fi and World War One is therefore almost too good to be true.

Available, it appeared, exclusively for Xbox, Trenched will hope to replicate the success of the studio’s other downloadable titles, Costume Quest and Stacking, critical darlings both. If you’re a fan of Schafer’s distinct brand of irreverent humor, and also a fan of massive, death-dealing robots (and really, who isn’t?), keep an eye out for stacking on the Xbox Live Arcade in the very near future. Check out the trailer below.

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