It’s time to save the humans once again as Finnish developer and publisher Housemarque unleash Nex Machina. They have also teamed up with American game designer Eugene Jarvis who created Defender and other such 80’s classics. A recipe for something special, you bet. And with nods to Resogun throughout, this vortex shooter delivers a spectacular visual sight with epic firefights.
Set across different landscapes and arenas Nex Machina has you battling hoards of robotic armies that swarm, chase and hunt you down. It’s a relentless twin stick shooter that as you prowl deeper into its secrets, the more you become entwined in its mesmerising style. While the aforementioned Resogun took its battles up into the sky, here everything is ground based. You can destroy just about everything and when you do you’re treated to explosions and kabooms of epic proportions.
Each voxel-based world harbours danger and frantic missions. How you tackle each of the game’s levels is up to you. You’ll have to be quick either way as once you’re catapulted into action, the sense of urgency kicks in. The humans, who you are trying to save, have a short life span. Yours is not much longer if you don’t take note of your surroundings. The fifteen stages that make up a single level throw diverse and interesting enemies at you. Action is fast with minimal time to scratch that itch; Nex Machina is a hypnotic trance that you can’t shake yourself out of.
Progressing opens up simple upgrades and pick-ups. Stronger fire power sees hoards of bad guys washed away in a nanosecond. You also have a dash action that comes in handy to escape laser beams and end of level bosses. An added extra are powerful sub-weapons to play with. Even with this help, it’s one hell of a challenge, but one that you are going to want to invest time into. Additive? One of the most you may have ever played.
As well as the main arcade mode to wade through, score-chasing plays a big part as you have online leaderboards to champion. This main arcade mode can be played solo or in local co-op with a buddy. While there’s not an abundance of extra content or extras to complete the package, there’s Arena Mode where you can return to locations, but this time with a totally different and faster experience.
Here we have Housemarque’s best game to date, a specular vortex shooter that is an instant hit. Nex Machina is a stunning leap forward in glossy high-tech shooter action.
Lizard Rating 9/10
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