Having great success on Xbox live arcade and PlayStation network, published by DTP ENTERTAINMENT and RONIMO GAMES, AWESOMENAUTS just had to make its way onto the PC.
This 3-on-3 multiplayer online battle arena makes its triumphant debut, complete with its online capabilities and 80’s cartoon artistic style and hectic combat system.
Set in the year 3587, the cosmos is in uproar with gigantic robot armies battling for galactic conquest. One robot army in particular calls upon a unique and powerful group of mercenaries called the Awesomenauts to aid in their fight for interstellar domination.
It’s a simple story but what makes it enjoyable is the superb cast consisting of a jetpack flying space monkey, a giant robot, a cowboy and a chameleon amongst others. Each character has their own special abilities and personalities, but none venture into boring and uninteresting territory. This diverse cast caters for every playing style, whether its stealth style melee gameplay to all out running and gunning, so any gamer will find something here to satisfy their taste buds.
The visuals are reminiscent of a 1980’s cartoon, complete with 80’s cartoon style music and sound effects. Each and every character looks great and colourful, although dominated by reds and blues (to represent the teams) all characters are brought to life by their unique animations and bright vibrant colour scheme. The levels however are repetitive loops of background and foreground that are not brought to life in any shape or form. It’s unimportant though as our heroes are the stars of the show, each and every one of them.
AWESOMENAUTS is primarily an online 3-versus-3 team-based variation of tower defence. However, instead of an overhead viewpoint, this game utilises a bare-bones 2D side-scrolling perspective. The core game mechanic is similar to SNK’s Metal Slug games in terms of combat mixed with an attack and defend objective. The player simply walks left or right in a symmetrical stage design, blasting enemy players and destroying enemy tower structures so that they can proceed in assaulting the enemy’s base, first team to succeed wins.
That’s basically it, but what this game lacks in game mode variety, it makes up for in character development. Defeating enemy players and towers gain you experience points and cash, these points helps level up your character making their attacks stronger and unlocking different customisation options. Cash is used to purchase character abilities and augments via the in-game shop, represented by a column of light. Both XP and cash systems give this game depth and really make you want to fight on to gain the upper hand. It took time to get into AWESOMENAUTS as my opponents were a lot stronger than me, not because their character was levelled up, more because every game starts out with all players even. But because unlockable characters are more capable, and robust than the starting line-up, I found that the more time you put into this game, the more you’ll get out of it.
The controls are most definitely what let this game down. The mouse controls your aim; keys A and D walk your player left or right and W jumps. It would have been a lot easier if that’s all you would need, but to use special abilities and gadgets, you have to press different keys. It’s very easy to forget what key does what, and where the key is, I’ve often found myself dead before I can find the key I’m looking for. Its seriously frustrating, which is a shame but all these can be overcome if you own a PC controller. You still need some keys to do certain abilities, but the main buttons can be calibrated to the controller, making it so much easier. It’s hard to see the strategy in this game, as the 2D side scrolling perspective does not leave a lot of room to manoeuvre, especially early in the game where stages are small and tight fitted.
While AWESOMENAUTS lacks substance, it is compensated by its unique nostalgia inducing visuals and rewarding levelling system. Give this game some time and it will reward you handsomely with new characters and abilities. It has a lot to offer but falls short in the gameplay department with its lack of strategy choice and whether you have online capabilities or not this game gets hectic and the screen is soon filled with manic combat and explosions galore. It’s easy to see why this game was such a success on PSN and XBLA.I give AWESOMENAUTS 7 out of 10
Version played: PC
Developers: Romino Games
Publishers: Dtp Entertainment
Genre: tower defence/3v3
Release Date:1st August 2012