This past weekend, Lunar Rooster allowed a select few to try out their upcoming game Sky Noon. Selected players were given access to a closed beta build with keys obtained from Lunar Rooster’s Discord server. I was lucky enough to get a key and spent some time taming the wild west skies of Sky Noon. Before I detail my experience, I just want to say that I have been waiting for another online western game to come around after Switchblade Monkey’s Secret Ponchos went dark and while Wild West Online seems to be aiming for the full frontier experience, Sky Noon is focusing on the best part of westerns and adding a twist to it.
In Sky Noon, players are dual wielding cowboys who duel on floating structures in a western theme. I couldn’t see any in-game explanation on why the world looks like something out of Bioshock Infinite or LawBreakers but it explains why these cowboys need two weapons at all times. On the left hand is a grappling pistol which is used for traversing the map. Just aim it at any surface and press the corresponding button to activate a grappling hook that will stick to it and pull you towards it. On the other hand is your main weapon which that can have different ammo sizes and is powered by AIR. Yes, air. Players in Sky Noon don’t really do damage to each other but instead push people away with the air ammunition from their weapons. The objective of the game and it’s different modes is to knock people off the map and those who get knocked can try to get back in with their grappling hooks.This duality makes for some fun and also frustrating gameplay. I actually enjoyed zipping around maps with my grappling gun or even attaching my hook to an enemy to get in closer. Even when I got knocked off the map I still found a way to regain my footing and get back into the fight. I didn’t notice a momentum like mechanic but it really did feel like my cowboy was gaining speed if I timed a grapple shot just right. Like I said before your primary weapons are powered by air, so you don’t really do damage to anyone. This means you have to push people off the map with your air-powered weapons. I instantly found out that some certain weapons like the six-shooter or single shot pistol were really ineffective for pushing but others like the sawed-off shotgun had enough blast radius to actually be meaningful. Luckily, you can go around the map and pick up crates that instantly change your weapon yet you might not get the weapon you want. In case you are having a hard time aiming like I was, cowboys also have items like air mines, dynamite, or lassos that can help them to achieve their objective but I found them to be ineffective in most situations.
All of this high-flying, western-shooting duels can be done in different game modes. I mostly played a team deathmatch mode called Minutemen vs The Cartel and I believe it is the best mode for Sky Noon. Other modes are also present and give players variety in case they want something different.
All in all, Sky Noon seems like a unique shooter that, I believe, needs to tweak some mechanics to reach its full potential. Weapons are an issue the devs need to address as in its current state only a few are actually useful in knocking people out of the map. The game modes could use some improvement, and I hope the developers eventually add a 1v1 mode to give us that full cowboy duel experience.
Sky Noon is still in closed beta with no official release date scheduled. Yet you can join Lunar Rooster’s Discord Server for updates and access to upcoming betas.