Shooting is one of the oldest genres in the gaming industry and has come a long way over the course of the industry’s lifetime in the forms of third-person and first-person shooters. Along the way, however, many games have stuck to the much older style of shooting games to help innovate the genre that inspired so many for decades. In this new entry into the genre, players take the wheel of the all-mighty killing machine GROOD, who has been built to do only one thing: wreak havoc and shoot robots to pieces, so grab your gear, hold on to your jolts and screws, and never ever take your finger off the fire button.
GROOD is played entirely from the right-hand side of the player’s character and is based entirely around one objective: to blast machines to kingdom come. Once the game begins, players must try to eliminate as many robots as possible that are coming their way, all while trying to avoid their incoming fire to stay alive. To fight off the machines, players are firstly handed a minigun, attached to GROOD’s underbelly, which can shoot down enemies at great speed and range. As the game progresses, players are given additional weapons like a shotgun, which causes more damage at close range, and a weapon upgrade, which can increase a weapon’s damage output and overall abilities.
Enemy variety is important in any game, and this is an area where GROOD definitely succeeds. Some of these enemies are small and easy to kill, but can still cause a lot of damage if not avoided. Other enemies are much larger and fire slow-moving missiles, which could deal masses of damage but give players a better chance of survival due to their slow speed. Other machines use long-aiming missiles to block the player’s path. Players must try to destroy these machines so that the lasers will be shot down, otherwise, they will need to suffer the consequence of flying through them and taking damage. The variety of enemies in the game is immediately commendable and while some later enemies tend to be larger versions of previous machines, like one having three lasers instead of one, they still work well in challenging players with their skills in evasion and action.
While the variety of enemies in GROOD is definitely beneficial for the game, its gameplay is squandered quite a bit by its unrelenting difficulty. From the moment the game is fired up, players are instantly bombarded from all sides by endless hordes, which fire from many different kinds of weapons, ranging from machine guns, lasers, and rocket launchers. Because of this, players are forced to dodge, fire, and evade like crazy from the first level onwards, and death is inevitable at virtually every moment. While this direction of difficulty instantly encourages players to concentrate on the carnage taking place around them, it can somewhat harm the overall flow and pacing of the game. Since players are forced to take on immense numbers of robots and firepower and must evade missiles and incoming fire like a maniac right from the start, it could cause the game to become rather repetitive and tedious, only after a few play sessions. The difficulty may have been improved if the game started relatively easily, with fewer and slower enemies to begin with, and less powerful weaponry, and gradually rose up, where the player’s skill and knowledge are eventually put to the test in a later level instead of the very beginning.
Presentation-wise, GROOD is colourful and presents an acceptable amount of detail in its design of the landscapes players fight over, and the highly extravagant usage of dynamic weather is added to further pump players up in their fight against the machines. GROOD and the enemy robots all have excellent animations, as they glide fluidly through the air, and attack with brute force and aggression. What also helps is the increasing variety of locations the player travels through, which often range between rural, forest areas, to more dystopian and darkened areas such as deserts, where the bones of animal carcasses litter the ground.
GROOD’s score relies on hard rock music, which is used to match the game’s extremely fast pace and gigantic action sequences. The music kicks into full effect when the game begins, and only stops slightly when players approach the next level or enter slow-mo. This style of music doesn’t entirely fit the relatively colourful presentation provided the Unity engine, but it does a serviceable job of giving players a gratifying sense of exhilaration as they mow down swarms of enemy robots.
Despite a generally inconsistent difficulty and a sometimes out-of-place soundtrack, blasting through machines remains a joy throughout GROOD. The sheer hecticness of the game’s combat helps in keeping players interested, despite its toughness, and the large variety of enemies in the game brings a satisfying amount of depth to the gameplay as it continues to challenge how the player should take on the next level. GROOD may not be for everyone, but it’s nevertheless a fun and visually engaging experience.
REVIEW CODE: A PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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