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Park Beyond Preview – Coasting Along

A new tycoon game to keep your eyes on

Tycoon fans have certainly had it good of late, with the likes of Two Point Hospital and Planet Coaster leading the charge with some quality rejigging of the genre. Someone at Tropico 6 devs Limbic Entertainment must have been taking notes, because their next title is their own take on the theme park building, rollercoaster designing concept in Park Beyond, and my early hands-on has me intrigued.

The preview build, available to patrons this week at Gamescom, invites players into the world of Park Beyond through a narrative prologue that sets the tone of the rest of the game to come. As a member of the park management team, the first test of your skills comes in impressing Blaze, a fellow park builder, in your rollercoaster creation skills through a local cityscape.

Building a rollercoaster isn’t anything new, but here there’s a sense that the only limit to your build is your imagination, or at the very least ensuring the coaster can be ridden from start to finish. You’ll be putting down parts of the track easily enough, choosing the angle and heights of turns with a simple press of a button or two, slowly piecing it all together before testing it out either from on high or in first person.

Creating a good rollercoaster is easy enough

Where things get interesting is the introduction of wilder mechanics like adding cannons that shoot you across from one part of the track to another, or the ability to dig under or through mountains and ponds to create more exciting directions. There are hints at plenty of wilder things you can do in the full game, but in terms of putting a track together it couldn’t be simpler and doesn’t feel as convoluted as it could given how many options are available. I could go back and easily edit any part of the track, replacing pieces or adjusting the angle on the fly, then watch a test cart run through it to ensure there’s enough momentum around each corner and no bad surprises.

More enjoyably, with the shackles off I could have twists and turns going in and around city buildings to my heart’s content, having the track go upside-down and loop around in just about every way I could think of. Granted some of my ideas didn’t quite come off, having my cart come to a stop partway through, but with a quick adjustment here and there it didn’t take much to fix my errors and have the cart flying through without any issues. It’s also quite fun to play in first person, seeing your creation become (almost) reality, though given the game isn’t quite finished development yet there was some noticeable moments where my track suddenly melded into the side of a building. I can hardly fault the devs for that though, it was fun to make and that’s all that matters.

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Park Beyond aims to set itself apart by incorporating a full campaign into its park management and building mechanics. Though there isn’t too much of it within the preview to talk about, it’ll be very interesting to see how involving it will be, whether the decisions you make as you build your park up from scratch will feel natural and important, affecting the story going forward. But just from this small preview, there’s potential there to be uniquely engaging and hopefully keep things simple enough for anyone to pick up and play.

More importantly, you can ride everything yourself

Park Beyond is still a little while away, currently slated for a release on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC in 2023, and hopefully between now and then the team can nail that sense of speed and really go all out with the idea of allowing players the chance to create whatever they can think of. Are you keen to give it a shot yourself? Let us know in the comments and on our socials and stay tuned for future updates on the game soon.

Previewed on PC // Preview code supplied by publisher

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Written By Mark Isaacson

Known on the internet as Kartanym, Mark has been in and out of the gaming scene since what feels like forever, growing up on Nintendo and evolving through the advent of PC first person shooters, PlayStation and virtual reality. He'll try anything at least once and considers himself the one true king of Tetris by politely ignoring the world records.

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