Nightdive’s next game, about a chef in space who battles aliens with a frying pan, is coming next week

Nightdive Studios announced today that PO’ed: Definitive Edition, its next back-from-the-dead project, is set to launch on May 16 for both PC and consoles.

PO’ed was originally released in 1995 for the 3DO, and made its way to the PlayStation the following year. It follows the adventures of a chef-in-space who, after crash-landing on a hostile planet, battles hordes of aliens using various kitchen implements and, eventually, alien weaponry. 

It’s not exactly the most serious videogame ever made, as evidenced by the game’s description on Steam: “Friggin’ aliens! They hijacked your ship and kidnapped your shipmates. It’s enough to get a guy… PO’ed!”

PO’ed isn’t nearly as well known as System Shock or Star Wars: Dark Forces, the previous beneficiaries of Nightdive’s work, but it clearly has fans at the studio. 

“Simplicity, and sandbox nature of the levels,” lead KEX engine developer Samuel “Kaiser” Villarreal said when asked why Nightdive opted to resurrect PO’ed. “You can pretty much do whatever you want. Some levels are pretty vast and large, and it’s a blast being able to fly around with the jetpack.” 

“It comes from an era when videogames were made to be pure fun,” business development director Larry Kuperman added.

Spending a little time with PO’ed: Definitive Edition myself, I was immediately confronted with roaming aliens I can only describe as looking like asses—and I don’t mean the equine kind—with chicken legs attached, who I pummelled into goo with a large, impressively durable frying pan. I eventually discovered a kind of magic cleaver that I could chuck at enemies without limit, giving me a primitive but effective ranged option.

Controls are floaty and loose, a bit like a low-gravity setting in a Quake deathmatch, which occasionally made platform-jumping an exercise in frustration but also added to the overall feeling of chaos, which I suspect is the point. Levels aren’t linked in any coherent fashion, and the story is basically just an excuse for the goofy weapons: As Villarreal suggests, it feels more like a singleplayer arena shooter than anything else—a place to bang around and kill some aliens without worrying about which way you’re going (or even why).

Enhancements in the new edition include fixes and gameplay tweaks (which can be toggled if you prefer a true old school experience), support for widescreen displays, a new difficulty mode, localization in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, and 15 Steam achievements.

PO’ed: Definitive Edition is available for wishlisting now on Steam, and is also coming to GOG.