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Post by Entroper »

Played this last night at my old coworker's house.

I was fairly disappointed. This game was developed by Housemarque, the developers of Super Stardust HD, which I really loved and have sunk countless hours into. And it looked quite promising, too, with several gameplay elements based on the classic Defender.

But really, it's kind of a bitch to play. It's too difficult to see and understand what's going on, which has always been a huge pet peeve of mine in any action game. Specifically, your primary objective is to "save the last humans", which you do by destroying all the "keepers", which are special enemies sometimes highlighted by green auras, sometimes by a faint white path that they follow, and sometimes, well, I could never find them, so I don't know. So you spend a lot of time hearing "keepers detected" and wondering where they are, followed shortly by "human lost". Bummer. Also, you have a score multiplier that goes up as you kill enemies, just like in SSHD, only this time, it goes away if you go like 10 seconds without shooting something. And there isn't always something to shoot, unless you're just recklessly blasting all over the place and getting yourself killed all the time. Like, I understand putting pressure on people if you want the high score, but it just feels like being penalized for trying to pace yourself.

They have all these goals and bonuses and stuff for getting through a level without losing any humans, without losing your multiplier, without using bombs, etc. But it feels like the game sets you up with these goals, and then prevents you from any chance of achieving them, even if you don't make any mistakes. You basically just need to be lucky with the spawn locations of enemies and humans relative to your ship. Maybe there are patterns to memorize or something, but good gameplay is organic, not formulaic.

The graphics are even kind of mediocre. The PS3 could have done nearly as good a job, but without the "hey guys, look at this particle engine I wrote!" boss explosions.

Anyway, yeah, disappointing. Lots of promise, lots of good ideas, kinda weak on implementation. If they had done more playtesting, this could have been a great game.


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