There’s at all times been one thing a bit unsettling in regards to the vibrant and cheery world of Pokémon. It is all lovely and charming and candy till you begin interested by the implications of capturing and imprisoning magical creatures and forcing them into gladiatorial fight by the hands of pre-teens. 

So possibly Palworld is not that weird in spite of everything: It is a Pokémon-like creature-collecting survival game that is stuffed with colourful creatures to gather… nevertheless it’s additionally filled with machine weapons, tanks, and rocket launchers. As an alternative of little poke-ball prisons, there are precise prisons, and the captured critters can be utilized as compelled labor to construct weapons and mine sources. If something, possibly Palworld is simply extra sincere about issues than Pokémon is. The critters are cute, however warfare by no means is. Cope with it.

The brand new Pal reveal trailer above exhibits off (and eventually provides names to) a lot of Palworld’s pretty (and closely Pokémon-inspired) animals. However whereas gazing at the fantastic thing about creatures just like the flying jetragon, galloping herds of pyrin, guffawing daedream, and mystical woodland vaelet, it is laborious to not discover all of the, y’know, brutal violence going down.

Issues first go awry with the pengullet, a tiny blue penguin-like creature, fortunately wandering towards an apple on the bottom, presumably to munch on it. All of the sudden, it (the pengullet, not the apple) is brutally crushed underfoot by some form of rampaging dinosaur-like creature. A lamball (a fluffy sheep-thing) and a lovander (a pink bipedal wolf) are scampering by means of a subject collectively, however then you definately discover the lamball is fleeing and sobbing in concern and the lovander is, nicely, in a predatory and amorous temper. Palworld appears cheerful however the dread actually seeps in rapidly.

Then all pretext is dropped as we see a participant straight-up emptying mags from an assault rifle into quite a lot of massive creatures, adopted by a minecart jammed filled with cattiva (cute cat creatures, one in every of them crying) being hauled into a jail fortress guarded by gun-toting goons. And you’ll’t miss the cute-as-heck monkey critter referred to as a tanzee operating by means of the snow, an excited smile on its face, an AK-47 in its arms? 

(Picture credit score: Pocketpair)

There’s extra fight because the participant and the tanzee mow down a mob of charging animals and a pikachu-like creature is used as a flamethrower to ambush a gentle-looking dinosaur carrying a crown. Various army tanks roll into battle where they’re met by a number of lamballs stationed behind heavy machine weapons and rapidly dispatched by a participant hanging from a glider whereas utilizing a rocket launcher. The music stays cheery and triumphant all through the carnage.

So, yeah. Bizarre! Palworld appears cute and off-putting suddenly, and the game’s Steam web page mentions extra horrors about your Buddies in passing, like that you would be able to “slaughter them to eat.” In the case of placing them to work in factories, Buddies “will work ceaselessly so long as they’re fed till the tip of their lifetime” and “labor legal guidelines will not be utilized to Buddies.”

That is one colourful dystopia. The trailer does not give us any extra data on a possible launch date, however Palworld’s Steam web page says it is due out in 2023.