Housemarque hasn’t released a game on PC in quite awhile. All of their games tend to favor the Playstation consoles. Nex Machina is a twin stick shooter about killing robots. So how is it?
Nex Machina is a twin stick shooter. We all know how they play, but this company is good at making them and this one is no different. Well… It’s different because it feels a lot faster then you average twin stick shooter. This game plays extremely fast. When I first started the speed was the learning curve for me, but as I continued to play I got better. My wife and I were zipping through stages and kicking ass while rescuing the people at the same time.
At the end of every stage is a boss fight and all of them are cool. When you do enough damage to bosses they’ll change the way they fight. At first it’ll be pretty simple, but as the fight goes on they’ll start throwing everything they have at you and it can get pretty insane some times.
The power-ups that I collected throughout my multiple runs were crucial to successfully completing a map or not. Each power-up has it’s uses and can easily turn the tide of battle. My favorite one makes a shield around my body that instantly kills anything that comes close. It’s useful for when I’m back into corner trying to save a human from a big ass robot dude.
This game is beautiful, and really colorful too. Every enemy is designed really well and when they explode it’s like a orgasm of colors on the screen. Shit can get crazy when I’m shooting out laser beams, firing off my primary weapon, and blowing crap up. Every stage has a unique look, and unique enemies to fight and this helps the game from feeling repetitive from prolonged play sessions. The human character models, including the main character, are average looking. This was made clear when I tried customizing my character and noticed how ugly everything looked on him. 90% of this game is beautiful and since I rarely stop and study how my dude looks it wasn’t very noticeable until I stopped to customize him later on.
Co op Gameplay:
This is what I want when I play a twin stick shooter. I don’t want to share health, or ammo with my wife. I want good, chaotic fun that’ll keep us coming back and that’s what this game does. We share lives, but if my wife dies, which is often :), I can bring her back if I can pass the stage without dying. We love playing this game together and that adds to the replay value for me.
Nothing wowed me in the sound department here. Everything sounds good, but nothing blew me away like in Cryptark. The weakest part of this game is the soundtrack in my opinion. I’m fresh off a run and I can’t recall a single song that I heard. The sound effects are good, but, once again, I’ve heard better in the game I just reviewed before this one. What we have here isn’t bad, which is why it’s in my good section, but it didn’t impress me enough to bump it up a notch.
There’s Not Enough Game Modes:
The only thing my wife and I did together in this game is arcade mode. Arcade mode is a blast and I have no complaints about it, but I wish there was more to do in this game besides try and get the highest score possible. Helldivers had an entire campaign for us to do together and we could go from planet to planet fighting off aliens, mechs, and humans while trying to win the war for humanity. There’s nothing like that in this game and it’s a shame. It’s not a huge negative it’s more of a nitpick, but hopefully this game is supported and adds some sort of campaign to the game.
There’s No Campaign or Story:
Not every game needs a story, but I think this one would benefit from it. Who is the evil robot overlord that we’re trying to kill? Why not have a campaign go alongside arcade mode. What we have right now doesn’t feel like a whole game to me.
Nex Machina is a good game with great co op gameplay. I love playing this game with my wife, but I’m not sure how much I’ll play alone. There’s not a lot here and I think this game would benefit greatly from a campaign, but I do recommend this game for the co op alone. It’s fun, chaotic, and has some really nice boss fights. I want this game to do well so Housemarque will port more of their games to PC.