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Review: Planet Wars (alpha demo)
Top down cartoon style shooting with a nice combination of hand drawn graphics and pixels. The menu system and inventory/armoury screens are nicely layed out and easy to understand, music sound and all that other joy are present and correct. It's accessible and easy to get into..
Planet Wars is at heart a simple screen-by-screen shooter. Kill all the baddies in the area to progress. This is made more challenging by the presence of pits and eggs that spawn enemies constantly, and the ever present danger of rinsing all your ammunition. There are nice additional touches too - the ability to spawn yourself extra ammo, health and airstrikes adds some simple RTS features to what would otherwise be quite a standard shooter. The game feels well balanced, with the enemies never feeling too overwhelming and the ammo and grenades in plentiful supply. This said, some of the enemy spawn points seem to take and awful lot of bullets to kill and you're left vulnerable to attack while you're shooting at them. The team AI is decent enough, your buddies will stick around and shoot anything near them, it would be nice if you could direct them a little more though, all too often half your team are hanging around the back of the screen ignoring the enemies while you're getting killed up front. Overall it's solid, theres a nice feeling of progression as you gain cash and upgrade your little guy with more stuffs! The RTS elements add some strategy to the proceedings, it feels well thought out and the elements fit together and feel well planned. AI niggles and the difficulty of killing some things can be forgiven!
So hot! The backdrops and much of the interface and characters look handdrawn and photoshopped, which lends a really nice graphic novel kinda unique feel to the game, explosions, and the little glow/kick on the muzzle flash are cool! Then there's the awsome little twitch/struggle when a marine gets hit by a face hugger... It's quite a different look from what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. Couldn't help thinking that alot of time and effort must have gone into hand drawing all the scenery and it really works.
I'm going to be honest, I played this at work and hence had the audio turned wwwaaaayyyy down. But from what I did hear -the ratatatatatatatata of constant machinegun fire - its pretty solid. The satisfying ZAP! of the sniper tower taking down a bug, or the klink-chink! of reloads getting slammed in, the audio all fits nicely.
I played this for a solid half hour and really enjoyed it. As with all progressive games, there is a great deal of satisfaction in leveling up your character, getting that upgrade you really want etc. With enough variety in levels and scenarios - stop the enemies reaching the downed soldier, hold out for evac etc, this could be a really un-put-downable little shooter
Top art style, well crafted and nicely designed and balanced. Very polished for a demo, I'd recommend!
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