As much as I wanted to do a review on this game, I felt it unfair to review it properly as I never finished it. But I still want to talk about it. So here we go.
You play as Tony, a legendary hitman who’s been “dead” for 15 years, and his son Clyde, as you track down gang members to clean up the streets! Though I only got half way through, I was still compelled to see the story through to the end. But unfortunately I wasn’t able to. But from what I played, it was really enjoyable. The game takes place in the 1980’s with a very heavy neon aesthetic. Though this was nice, with the enemies being outlined a nice neon blue when they were behind objects, it also seemed to make the game very dark. Plus when a gun is fired, the screen does a weird flash around the edges.
The game plays like an isometric top down, twin stick shooter. Except the controls took a little getting used to. Nowadays I’m pre-programmed to shoot with in games, when playing on PlayStation. But in this, is to fire, and is to switch weapons. There is also a heavy emphasis on dodging in the game. To the point where my hand was getting a cramp due to mashing / so much!
As you play through the levels, you have to do a lot of dodging, but it’s also a fun challenge, because you also need to remember where enemy spawns are, to be able to handle them all. But with that is also dodge rolling. If you don’t do this, you’re as good as dead. As dodging gives you invulnerability. Except when it doesn’t. There were plenty of times during the animation, where I died, when I was supposed to be invincible. After the animation is done, you’re vulnerable for the briefest of seconds. Though this is never an issue, sometimes the game decides “this bullet will kill you”, even if it’s nowhere near you. So the game would freeze for just a second, then I’d be dead without being able to dodge again.
But it’s all about learning the best ways to dodge through the enemies. Which I absolutely loved. After you defeat bosses, or kill a specific person in a map dressed up as a juice box, you also gain new weapons, which is exciting, and fun to try them out.
Now the downside to the game, through all the fun of the levels, is the frame rate drops, and the boss fights. When there is a lot going on on the screen, the framerate dips quite drastically. Which of course meant that some of my inputs never got recognized and I’d die. Or when you’re right up against an enemy, and you end up doing your melee attack and the game would go slow motion, then you’re stuck in said animation, usually leading to death from other enemies. This was kind of annoying and jarring to be honest. Especially against bosses, when you’d end up stuck inside them, constantly ‘meleeing’ when you hit the attack button, only for no attacks to hit after the first one. But if you get stuck inside the boss, usually this means you’re dead.
The bosses are also bullet sponges to an insane degree. Every enemy and you die to one bullet. But the bosses take an absolute mess of them, and melee attacks, just to put them down. Then when they only have ¼ health left, they tend to change their tactics. Like the level five boss. He sits behind a riot shield for the fight, then pulls out dual pistols that he never has to stop firing, which shoot like machine guns. It doesn’t help that he’d fight at a distance, and then suddenly he’s always on top of me. So no matter what I tried, I’d die immediately. This is where I gave up after hours of trying. It’s especially annoying when dodging bullets is a big gamble. Sometimes you win, but oftentimes, you lose.
On the brightside, the devs are looking to balance the game. Yes I love a good challenge, but at some point there’s a line. I hope the developers do something that makes it a touch easier, because I was very much enjoying this game, and I want to see it through to the end.
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Images – DCF Studios Press Kit