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Check out the demo for this flashy top-down stealth action game

 Intravenous 2 Mercenarism demo screenshot.
Intravenous 2 Mercenarism demo screenshot.

A free prologue is out now for stealth action game Intravenous 2, called Mercenarism, it puts you in the top-down shoes of Gideon, an amoral mercenary who takes on a couple simple jobs that'll snowball into the events of the main game when it releases later this year.

The two-level demo sets up the premise of the game: You're an army of one badass whose job is to sneak past or shoot everyone between you and your objectives. You've got the power to customize yourself the way you want for the fights to come, either via skill trees, weapon modifications, or general gadget loadout. If all else fails you can drop into bullet time for an extra edge in tense moments.

Intravenous 2 bills itself as a tactical stealth action game, and I think they've got the vibe right for the genre. The whole color palette is dull greys and browns, with flickering lights unveiling a lot of color at times while masking events at others. Good light effects are so key to the stealth action genre as a whole, and it's clear that developer Explosive Squat Games knows that: Warm lamplight and overheads contrast with blinding LEDs and flickering fluorescent tubes.

It's probably a good demo to try for fans of games like Metal Gear Solid or Gunpoint, but also for people who enjoyed Hotline Miami and other top-down shooters. Or people who just like to play with lots and lots of customizable guns with weird attachments and dongles and doodads and gewgaws. It looks like it'll have loads of those.

The original Intravenous came out back in 2021 and did okay for itself, with a few thousand reviews on Steam clocking in at 92% positive overall.

You can find free prologue Intravenous 2: Mercenarism on Steam right now. That's also where you can also find Intravenous 2 proper, and where it will release some time in 2024.