Awesomenauts (Xbox 360 Review)
Awesomnauts is the latest release from Ronimo Games. And with a name that includes “awesome” it has a lot to live up to. If it had been called “PreparedToBeDisappointedByALackOfLevels-nauts” I would have known exactly what to expect.
The game had been in development for some time and almost never seen the light of day when the publisher dtp Entertainment announced that they were struggling financially and had filed for insolvency. Since then Awesomenauts has been fortunate enough to not only release the game but announce the first batch of DLC for the game.
The story is set at the beginning of the game with the news that the galaxy is at war with itself. The rivalling sides are locked in a stalemate with no victory in sight. This deadlock has lead to both sides recruiting some of the galaxies most notorious and deadly mercenaries in a bid to sway the outcome. “Who are these deadly mercenaries?” you ask, the Awesomenauts that’s who.
With a charming cartoony background and player art each level has a vibrant and almost childish appeal to it. Some levels have giant worms that remind the player of Star Wars and the worms from Dune where other can be described as the most cuddly cyclops monsters ever. The characters all look fantastic too. There has never been such a cool motley crew; jetpacking monkeys, killer robots, brains in a jar and many more are all thrown into the maelstrom and everyone is as fun to play as they look.
Awesomenauts has a unique set of mechanics, it has several different elements from games like League of Legends and those of the same MoBA ilk, but on a 2D plane. Although the gameplay may be similar to LoL, in the vaguest of senses, it is by no means as complex. Every character can deal devastating damage if levelled correctly and any combination of miscreants can be wielded efficiently given the right team mates. The main aim of the game is to advance towards your enemies supplies as you slowly tear through your opponents defences, in between advancing on your opponent’s defences you are confronted by turrets and whatever worthless peons they can toss at you. There are some different enemies in specific levels but once you learn how to level quickly you may avoid these completely, unless you need a quick burst of money to push for the next upgrade.
A unique mechanic that makes Awesomenauts stand out from the crowd is the way in which you enter the battlefield. Upon entry your character drops from the skies in a flaming drop pod collecting resources as they hurtle towards the battlefield. This can be extremely effective as you might have died just short of an upgrade and that little boost you get from entering the battlefield occasionally boosts your resources that little bit.
When all is said and done Awesomenauts just falls short of its name. With some great game mechanics and really interesting character design you will lose countless hours to tense matches but on the whole the experience feels empty and you will slowly be ground down by the lack of levels. With the news of DLC being developed and the possibility of more to come the game will hopefully see a lot of growth over the coming months.