Weekly Penguin
December 24th, 2019
Making of TAGAP 4

TAGAP 4 gameplay reveal!

Merry Christmas 2019! Time to resume the tradition of 'Penguin DT Bag of Christmas Goodies' – and we're doing so with a bang! Here is the gameplay reveal for TAGAP 4!

Streaming version: YouTube  |  Download: Google Drive

We also have the official plot synopsis to go along with it:

During his adventures, the cyber-penguin Pablo has saved the world multiple times – from a world-conquering mad scientist, a megalomaniac penguin general and a whole race of space penguins from Pluto. However, an event during his previous adventure has thrown our hero out of this world. Out of this time.

What if Pablo wasn't there to save the world? What if the mad scientist Glowenko wasn't stopped in his tracks, but now rules the world with a rubber glove?

Stuck in an alternate timeline, Pablo has to find a way home while fighting the whole world gone mad.

Developer commentary


It wouldn't be a Penguin DT trailer without the 'Never Rated' opening splash screen, now would it?


I felt this simple disclaimer was necessary, as whilst this level is indeed straight from the game, it has been altered a bit for this gameplay demo – mainly by pumping up the difficulty in a ridiculously steep curve. This is simply so that we can demonstrate more mechanics, enemies and features in one go.


Pablo enters the fray! You will likely immediately notice the new art style – and the completely re-done effects and lighting engines, allowing for some pretty... electrifying scenes.


When dealing with the first batch of familiar zombie penguins, you'll get to know AMM01 – or Adaptive Multi-munition Weapon System. This is the weapon Pablo will be wielding through-out the game. The starting pulse laser packs a punch – and the new gore system adds to it.


And just in time, before you get worried about 'what, only one weapon?!', we get to our first item pick-ups. You'll notice the 'analyzing' pop-ups? That'll be important later. Also worth noting; the amount of rendering effects in this action-less screen is pretty crazy. For example – the way the water surface reacts to rain.


First proper platforming for this level showcases the new physics model. Whilst similar in many ways, everything is a lot weightier. This makes the gameplay less floaty and all actions become more instantaneous.


You've likely noticed that Pablo had something on his back. That's one big cleaver that you can use to, well, cleave things. Usage of the cleaver is contextual – letting you take out weakened or stumbling foes, rewarding you with Life Blobs. Life points and the green pills are separate things in TAGAP 4 – you will see how this works later.


We can't have a sci-fi penguin game without our Penguinators! They're slow and not the smartest, but they can take serious amounts of damage. Luckily you still come armed with hand grenades.


And there it is – analysis is complete! You may only have one weapon, but that weapon is like Judge Dredd's Lawgiver on steroids. Just give it enough ammunition for analysis and it can adapt to it. Here we have unlocked scrap as ammunition – and now have a new Scrapgun!


More classic enemies join the fray – here come the original penguin commandos! You haven't seen these guys since defeating Dr. Glowenko's army. Also, I have to be a geek and point out how the weight distribution affects the swing of that cargo crate.


Can't have a TAGAP title without Floatmines. Luckily we only face two for now, but they're enough to let us appreciate those nice explosions.


Moving indoors... and what is this? Cloaked penguin ninjas?!


And the biggest change of pace – this time you'll be facing human enemies as well! Luckily this officer is as surprised as you – and only carries a Taser. I wonder who these folks are working for?


The camera-locked security lockers worked so well for TAGAP 3, so they are back. Inside this one, we find more PDW magazines, allowing us to unlock a new weapon! But wait, what is that thing in the corner?


And here is why the AMM01 is awesome – you can upgrade it, unlocking alternate fire modes and Weapon Cores. You can choose the way you prioritize your weapon arsenal progress – the upgrades stack and won't lock you out of some specific upgrade path. For this demo, we will install a new Weapon Core – the Electro Core.


What are Weapon Cores? They're the firing mechanism of your gun – and different cores give the projectiles different properties. The Electro Core electrifies all your attacks – these bullets now deal more damage to electronic targets, but slightly less to organic ones.


We just picked up a second TAGAP pill, so how about we pop one? TAGAP pills are now an instant Overdose. You're pill reserve will automatically re-fill over time. Pop all pills for a long bout of slow-motion or keep some in reserve for tough spots, it's your choice.


The weapon cores affect ALL ammo types and all firing modes, so we've now basically doubled our attack options. As electrified damage is more harmful to robots, the Scrapgun just became an electric chaff cannon of robo-scrapping.


This is the point where we ramp up the difficulty for demo purposes. We've got zombies with axes, Floatmines and multiple attack helicopters – and every single one of those is more deadly than they were in the old games. However, you can now do the Overdose at will, evening the odds.


Goresplosion! Since everything is mechanically faster, punchier and more deadly, the audio-visual feedback has to follow suit. What results is a lot more visceral violence. It does heighten the sense of danger and the feeling of stakes during combat.


That is a Battletank! Like in the previous games, these buggers are heavily armoured and can only be damaged by blasting away their fuel tank. Unlike in previous games, these things are fast, are armed with plasma cannons and try ram you with a bumper-full of spikes.


You have to have satisfying conclusion to a prolonged mini-boss fight, right? The new effects system allows for some pretty darn nice big explosions, filled with flames, sparks and screen-distorting shock waves – and all of them illuminate the scene with a fiery glow.


The big ending challenge of the level is the turret tower ambush! These things turn you into a crisp in seconds if you stay put, so everything we've showcased has to come into play. The faster movement has to be used to dodge the attacks. At-will Overdose has to be taken advantage off. And those electrified bullets are a must.


The G-SEC is here! The armoured human soldiers are better trained and equipped than what Pablo is used to – better learn to dodge those grenades!


The Embarrassing Trailer Shot of the Year 😆 – stomp-dodging straight into a rocket launcher blast! Well, at least you can't say this gameplay reel was too smooth and scripted!


G-SEC soldiers have their torsos covered in armour, but aimed shots at their feet will make them stumble. And that means we can cleave their head off!


Splattering Logo Reveal! Worth noting, by the way, that this title sequence, too, is in-engine. And yes, I may have watched too much classic Doctor Who in my time.


What, what is this? A familiar figure observes Pablo on the security camera. Yes, this is Doctor Glowenko's world we've stepped into!


The End. Rewind, repeat!


A selection of screenshots grabbed directly from the gameplay video! I've always found that grabbing stills from a proper gameplay reel results in the best screenshots, so since we now have a meaty reel of footage, here are some chosen stills. The only criteria for the selection was that they had to make Pablo look cool 😎

TAGAP 4 Screenshot 2 TAGAP 4 Screenshot 3 TAGAP 4 Screenshot 4 TAGAP 4 Screenshot 5


And what would TAGAP be without a soundtrack by Petja Heiskanen? The music for TAGAP 4 is, like everything else about the game, a bit different. This time Petja is leveraging his expertise and experience as a drummer to record the percussions live, giving the music more organic sound. The rhythm-focused score fits the more intense combat perfectly.

Holiday Greetings!

That wraps up our Holiday Bag of Goodies for 2019. However, in case you missed it, we'd love to highlight the annual Weekly Penguin Season Greetings released last week! This time the card is available in both video and wallpaper form.

To share the card, use this permanent link: https://www.tagap.net/pow/p643.htm

Have a peaceful holiday, penguin friends!

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin