Demiurge and Ubisoft have put together a fun little package here, in the form of an inexpensive (10 bucks) steam download that is worth the price of admission. Fans of Metal Slug will enjoy this title, and fans of Borderlands will enjoy it even more, as it is really a blend of the two. This 1-4 player side-scrolling shooter has a very distinct look-and-feel nod from Borderlands, and the equipment and upgrades you get have hilarious themes and some really off the wall looks. Gameplay involves exactly what the title implies, and as you move from level to level through increasing difficulties (there are three in total), you are faced with larger and tougher waves of robots of various types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that you learn as you play. Most players will easily get their money’s worth here in just the normal playthrough (roughly 5-10 hours), and I found playing with a friend to be even more interesting, as we could vary our builds to synergize with each other. Builds for characters range from glass cannon builds with high maneuverability and insane ranged weapons and explosives, to slow plodding tanky builds with strong melee and shotgun/flamethrower type combinations. Even the melee builds are really interesting, and between a slide attack and a ground pound attack can be used to great effect in limited combination.
Graphically the game looks great, with eye catching animations and a really attractive art style (again looking extremely similar to Borderlands). Audio is also quite good, with solid weapon sounds and twangy music that combine well with the more comedic sounds added throughout, such as the familiar “crit” ding sound and the toilet flush when you finish using the bathroom in your RV (where you change weapon and gear loadouts between missions).
The only potential drawbacks to this title were that although there are a lot of missions, they tend to run through the same areas, which get tweaked somewhat in layout as you progress. This adds a bit of repetitiveness, especially as you get into the higher difficulty levels. Also, the action can make it a bit difficult to see your targeting reticle at times, and with some weapons more than others this can be a problem (the ones that require more pinpoint aiming instead of general direction explosives in particular).
All in all, for the price this game is well worth the buy. It is a quick steam download that will keep you thoroughly amused for at least 5-10 hours (perhaps more if you want to find and unlock all the gear and see the hardest difficulties). The shining moment for me was when I unlocked a helmet slot item to go along with my piercing sniper rifle (piercing does what you would expect here, makes the shot continue on and hit many targets in a line). The item added more damage and piercing to my attacks, and had a name I shouldn’t mention here, but you will know it when you see it, because a tiny robot will be humping your head from various angles once equipped (if you must know what I am talking about here, go snag the game!).
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