When footage of the upcoming indie game Squirrel with a Gun went viral last weekend, games like Untitled Goose Game and Goat Simulator immediately came to mind. But, behind the scenes, Squirrel with a Gun’s creator is drawing inspiration from two unlikely places: the Yakuza franchise and Shadow of the Colossus.
Squirrel with a Gun is a game about exactly what it says on the tin and stars a squirrel who has a firearm. In an interview with IGN, Squirrel with a Gun creator Daniel DeEntremont shared the unique AAA game inspirations that have informed how the titular squirrel can interact with enemies and the environment.
“In Yakuza, I like all the heat actions where the little crazy, actiony cinematic [plays], so I put that in the squirrel,” DeEntremont said. “I like Shadow of the Colossus, I like climbing the enemies, making that a whole ordeal.”
— IGN (@IGN) August 13, 2022
Heat moves found in the Yakuza series are cinematically presented combat moments that range from intense, close-up punches to zanier moves like whacking someone over the head with a bicycle.
When asked if you could climb up the secret agents’ pant legs in the game, DeEntremont said they’re currently working on adding climbing on humans into the game. So, when Squirrel with a Gun eventually launches, you’ll be able to use combat moves reminiscent of Yakuza’s Kazuma Kiryu and scale the human enemies like Wander does to the enormous creatures in Shadow of the Colossus.
The game caught fire on social media but is still in the very early stages of development, so the creator is still working out the exact details of the story.
“The idea is that the squirrel makes its way into a top-secret experiment lab and just happens to grab this important hard drive that happens to be shaped like an acorn, and then he swallows it. Which is what motivates the [agents] pursuing him throughout the game.”
DeEntremont said they’re on the fence about if the squirrel is just a regular squirrel, or if it will have “Jason Bourne-like powers.” The creator also said he’s thinking about reskins for the squirrel of other creatures with similar body types, including ferrets and chipmunks. There are also other colors for the squirrel planned, and maybe some “cute little outfits, like a tuxedo or a bomb suit.”
As for weapons, the squirrel will be able to handle a shotgun, a pistol, an RPG, and a couple others. You’ll be able to rocket jump as the squirrel, firing your weapon directly into the ground to launch yourself across the map.
There’s currently no release window for Squirrel with a Gun, but you can check out early screenshots of the game on Steam. DeEntremont also told IGN that after the initial Steam release, he’d love to see Squirrel with a Gun show up on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.
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Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.