In terms of first impressions, WE ARE DOOMED is great. It starts out fun and the game is visually beautiful, with a mixed palate of aesthetically pleasing colours. You play as a spiky ball thing, shooting enemies and feeling superiority swell inside you as you watch their ships disintegrate, which puts a smile on your face. But the smile does not stay forever, as after a while, the game does get a little boring.
This indie game made by Vertex Pop reminds me of ‘Dodge These Balls’, where you are that little red ball and you are doing your best to avoid the black ones. The only difference is, in this game, you shoot these ones. This game is a twin stick shooter, while you press R2 to shoot out your beam that attacks your enemies. Whilst the enemy ships do their best to take you down, you fly around, collecting little trinkets that fill up your superbeam and your multiplier metres. In terms of weapons, all you have is the beam and the superbeam. These are fun for the first 10 minutes and then your heart simply wants more. Maybe a thinner beam, that destroys the enemy ships faster, or a completely different weapon choice, but you just want some level of personal touch. The beam does keep things minutely interesting as the enemies do not disintegrate straight away when you put the full force of your beam on them, you have to keep it focused on them for a fraction of a second. When you are surrounded, you have got to make quick decisions about where to start your attack, or you may struggle to keep your enemies at bay.
There are two different modes to keep you interested in this game, waves and endless. Once you get bored on waves, endless is there to make sure you do not delete this game from your library just yet. There are also obstacles included on the screen, which can knock a life out of you, making you focus just a little bit more as you slalom across the rectangular box that makes up your television screen to avoid them. When the obstacles and a lot of enemies are racing around, it creates a situation that you can only use fast reactions and a lot of fire-power to get out of, so it does get your heart racing, if only for a little while.
When it comes down to it, WE ARE DOOMED is tough. It is one of those games that keeps you on your toes and deceives you, as it feels like it is quite simple, but it is difficult to master. You have four lives and four lives only, there is no way to earn them back after you lose one, no matter how well you do. It does make you a little bit grumbly, as it feels like there is no reward system and you are fighting a losing battle, but it is the only way to keep you interested in the game. Whilst you get checkpoints every ten levels on Waves mode, you just have to keep dodging and darting around the screen doing as best you can on Endless mode.
The techo-trance soundtrack is ambient in the background, so while I was playing I did not play different music like I do for some games. The music helps you keep a calm head, which, in turn, helps you stay focused. This is what We Are Doomed does well, it is a shooter that makes you feel calm when your heart is not racing. If you are looking for something to help keep stress at bay, then this game would actually be a good shout for you.
WE ARE DOOMED is replayable, if you are looking for something to fill up some time. It is nice to just put on and play for a little while, and you do not get invested in it. But there is not much to keep you interested, so make sure you catch it in a sale. It is nothing you have not seen before, and when it comes down to it, it is nothing you will not see again.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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