By Kristofer Hammer
Shoot Many Robots is one of those odd downloadable games that gets a lot of attention from varied journalistic sources, often acknowledged either for some ingenuity, artistic design or overall fun looking appeal.
After reading the complaints about the PS3 version as well as the developer commentary, it was clear that the PC version of the game was going to espouse the true vision that the PS3 edition could never achieve (mostly due to the limitations of a controller versus a keyboard).
How did the final platform release product fare against a sea of complaints and mediocre review scores? I’d have to say it is better than they make it out to be.
For starters, the game is classed under RPG run and gun. As you play the game, your character levels up and unlocks a host of armors and guns to allow you to customize your avatar in any way you see fit. However, the leveling is what really needs to be taken into account, since items that you unlock within a level by destroying a random cargo drop are not useable without having the level requirement for that item or for not having enough money—in this case, nuts—to pay for it.
Since Shoot Many Robots allows for cooperative gameplay as well, the leveling system of the game creates a lot of unbalanced results. Higher leveled players are not challenged enough by lower stages and vice versa, making it difficult to progress throughout the game without needing to level grind and simultaneously tiring you out of those earlier stages, making it so you never want to play again.
But is this game fun and satisfying? Yes, quite so. There are varied enemy types, mini-bosses and bosses, as well as two flavors of stages: survival and platform level based (where you progress to the right, trying to reach checkpoints and finishing the stage).
As a result of clever development, robots constantly emerge from multiple entrances, keeping you on your toes and on the lookout for unoccupied spaces in the stage in which you can unload your gun and not take damage.
An assortment of guns are available, ranging from pistols to grenade launchers. The primary weapon has unlimited ammo and the secondary has a limited but replenishable supply.
I’m not writing off level grinding, as many RPG or MMORPG games rely heavily on this tried-and-true game tactic; I only fear that without the cooperative play or the companionship of online players, one is likely to become excessively bored with the game and frustrated by the lack of progress.
While not necessarily the strongest game on the Steam service (let alone the worse version on PS3 and XBLA), Shoot Many Robots doesn’t take itself too seriously and provides a decent amount of fun for a price far lower than that of the average console game.
If you’ve got time or are interested, try it out; if not, it is safe to say you’re not missing out on the most celebrated game of the year.