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Posted by drew10 on Mar 14, 2012
Shoot Many Robots – Demiurge Studios – XBLA

Shoot Many Robots – Demiurge Studios – XBLA

It was some time ago that Tomorrow’s World claimed we would all have robot butlers by 1995. Well it is now 2012 and robots are yet to either help us out or destroy us all. So far robots have been pretty useless, so much so in fact that I just want to blast the bastards. If only I was armed with massive guns whilst wave after wave of robots came at me so I could blow their mechanical arses from here to silicone hell. Even better if I could do it with three mates whilst wearing fairy wings. Ah we can but dream!

Well it is time to wake from that dream as Demiruge Studios bring us their début original title Shoot Many Robots for XBLA and PSN.

Shoot Many Robots is a side-scrolling run and gun game with emphasis on, you guessed it, shooting robots, many of them. You play P. Walter Tugnut, a redneck who, in his (t)rusty RV has guns, ammo, and of course beer. Like any good redneck he has been stockpiling all this for robot Armageddon.  So when the abandoned factory begins producing robots on its own, Walter sets off in his RV on a robot-killing rampage.

What transpires is a shooter of some distinction. The ‘Many’ in the title is the key ingredient for this title. There are robots, lots of robots and each one is there just begging for you to blow them to smithereens, well before they do likewise to you anyway.

Walter can carry two weapons at any one time a fast firing gun like a machine gun and a heavy weapon like a grenade launcher. The first weapon has infinite ammo but you will need to be more reserved with the heavier weapon. These weapons can upgraded at the end of each level when you return to your RV.

You can also upgrade various parts of your clothing with new headgear, jackets and pants. Each has unique properties and will upgrade various attributes in your character. The currency in Shoot Many Robots is bolts and these are collected from the broken pieces of robots. To earn the most amount of bolts you will need to keep your multiplier high. The higher the multiplier, the more bolts each vanquished foe will drop. The more bolts at the end of the level the better the outfits and weapons you can buy. Some of the outfits include barrels, stockings and fairy wings. There is also the obligatory extras on Xbox Live for just a few points here and there.

The robots range from quick chainsaw equipped cannon fodder to more powerful android-types who fire red rockets at you. There are also flying robots and some serious sized end of level bosses. Along with his arsenal of weapons, Walter also has a pretty mean upper-cut and this can be used to clear close enemies or to return the red missiles back whence they came.

Shoot Many Robots is a graphical tour-de-force with lovely drawn backdrops and great cell-shaded characters. The bright and varied levels set this game apart from many of its counterparts. It is bright and bold and the robots are varied, did I mention there are many of them? And there are more to come in some DLC with some of the new robots being designed by fans in a competition held by the studio.

The soundtrack is a unique blues-rock guitar track. This sets the mood brilliantly and again sets the game apart. In fact the quality of the audio is excellent throughout.

So far so good then. However there is something that really irks with this title. In much of the pre-release stuff the game was hailed as a ‘dual-stick’ shooter but in the release the controls are single stick and button presses for fire. Whilst this doesn’t ruin the gameplay there certainly are times when the ability to run in one direction whilst fining in another would have been handy. Especially when you want to fire diagonally without moving. This is impossible and proves to be a little frustrating. Whether this is a gameplay change or whether the press releases were wrong is anybodies guess but it is certainly a shame to not have the option.

Luckily for Walter you can invite up to three friends to join in your robot mashing madness and this certainly makes things easier. In single-player mode the amount of robots (many of them, you know) can be a little hard to handle in places.

Shoot Many Robots is a great first game for Demiurge and certainly does the majority right. The lack of the dual-stick controls is annoying and would have been welcome but for the most part this is a fast paced and fun packed shooter with superb visuals.





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