Friday, 29 November 2013
Review: Awesomenauts (Ps3/Xbox360)
It's the year 3587, conflict spans the stars. Huge robot armies are locked in an enduring stalemate. In their bid for galactic conquest they call upon the most powerful group of mercenaries in the universe: the Awesomenauts! and with this during the intro the game kicks into a theme song that's reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons during the 80's/90's, a theme which it never truly lets go of either. The story though, never really builds up what is mentioned. The only cinematic Ive seen for the game is at the start of the Tutorial. Still, for a game so heavily focused on its multiplayer gameplay I guess its to be expected that there isn't too much of a narrative. Once you start playing though you'll also get hit by one of the games minor annoyances, The Grind. EVERYTHING is locked away behind a level system, and while that is by no means a bad thing, when new characters and levels are also locked away in can make for a little bit of repetition when starting out. For example, Only one level is available to play (except when joining a game online) until you reach lv12. So if your planning to do a bit of offline levelling (the ranking system carries over between modes) before risking an online bout your best being prepared for the grind, it must also be said that there are only 3 maps too! Characters are unlocked more quickly though, there are 8 in total (originally 6 with Coco & Derpl being added in the v1.1 patch) and it wont take long for you to settle into a rhythm with a few of your choosing. Each character has their own abilities & attacks and can be thoroughly customised via a loadout system. Not only does levelling up unlock characters & levels, but also perks for characters too. There is a loadout slot for each of characters 3 weapons, plus an extra one for the character itself, with a possible 6 to choose from (When fully unlocked) Only 3 of these can be selected for each section at a time, so choosing wisely to suit your play style is key. Once your ready to play, its either offline practice or online bouts. Only a singular game mode is available unfortunately, but its one that will take a while to tire of. When it comes to the game feature set, without a doubt the jewel in its crown is the Couch Co-op. With the online fare being 3 vs 3, the game allows you to have your 3 man team made up of people on your console. You & two friends playing split screen can go online to fight other players, maybe even other teams doing the same as you! It really is a good feature that we don't see much of these days. Online leaderboards also make an appearance. While the ranking system is always unlocking content and a prestige system awaits those that reach the top, the lack of a decent amount of levels to battle in is a little awry. A decent variety in the roster helps keep things interesting though and the gameplay does pick up on some of the slack here. Still, Its entirely dependant on yourself how much time you'll put into this one
A superb 80's cartoon style ensures nostalgia while a rich & diverse gameplay ensures the game stays interesting for as long as possible. The lacklustre amount of content with regards to maps & repetition of the grind to unlock the content may turn off some people, those that stick around though will find enough to guarantee many hours of enjoyment can be had, online or off.
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Review Copy provided by Playstation+
Footnote: While this review is based upon the console version, on Steam things are a little different. On PC the game is at v1.25 and features a further 7 characters with multiple skins added for all with extra levels too. While the console version doesn't have the extra content, its still very much playable