Processor Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM, video card with DirectX 11 support and 2 GB of memory, for example NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 / AMD Radeon R9 270, 1 GB on the hard drive, the Internet connection and the account on Steam
Processor Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, video card with DirectX 11 support and 4 GB of memory, for example NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 390
In 2013, when the PlayStation 4 was a completely new console, many jokingly called Resogun the best exclusivity for this platform. The truth was in this – to find something more spectacular and at the same time fascinating among the arcade games is not easy even now. Studio Housemarque often tries himself in something new, periodically returning to the usual formulas. A few years after the release of Dead Nation, she released Alienation and now developed the ideas of Resogun in the fresh Nex Machina.
Of course, these games are genre-less than similar – after all, Resogun was a much improved version of the classic Defender arcade, and Nex Machina absorbed the ideas of Robotron and Smash TV. But it's worth to see a couple of levels of the new game, as the resemblance immediately manifests itself: rescuing men, shooting at thousands of fragments deconstructing enemies, the desire to quickly and accurately pass each world and win the top line in the high scores table. Without a pair of roughness, unfortunately, there were some, but more on this later.
Here, in principle, there is a plot. In the future, computers (of course) have become much smarter than humans and realized that there is no point in furthering mankind. Therefore, they decided to attack the creators – and, as it turned out, there was really nothing to answer. In the game, all this is not said a word – choosing the "Arcade" mode in the main menu, the player after a fraction of a second watches as the main character drives to the first location on the motorcycle and begins to destroy the bruised pieces of iron. Information had to be collected from readme-files, descriptions of streams and trailers. But in general, this is a superfluous occupation: there is no need here for any narrative – the gameplay is above all.
The gameplay turned out to be excellent, which was to be expected from Housemarque. Each world (there are six in all) is divided into fifteen levels: one has been cleared and one has access to the next. Initially, we are confronted by ordinary arachnid creatures that can only run after the hero and bite, but later on the way there are more sophisticated creations of the fissile AI: beacons that let out deadly waves, spitting energy bundles of devices, walking robots capable of frying our fighter with a laser beam.
The protagonist also becomes steeper and stronger. At first, its arsenal is ridiculously stingy: a gun that shoots in the direction given by the player, and the ability to make a dash – the hero, without getting any damage, moves to a safer place (or dangerous if you press the button thoughtlessly). Infinite to use this ability is impossible, because it is recovered within a couple of seconds. But over time it is replaced by a more convenient triple jerk – when exactly, it is not known, because improvements fall out of defeated enemies in a random way.
Also, the hero acquires an explosive jerk (with a quick move all the hunted enemies get damage), increased range of fire and an increased range of bullets. All this makes it much stronger than at the beginning of the passage, and if we add to this additional weapons, we get an almost indestructible terminator. With the help of rockets, he blows up crowds of enemies, destroys even the strongest enemies with a laser, and the "clever bomb" makes it possible to get out of a dense environment.
Extremely simple operation and at the same time a wide variety of situations make Nex Machina insanely fascinating. The usual mode is about one and a half hours, but I want to return to it again and again for the sake of new records. There are several difficulty levels. The simplest ("rookie") is suitable for beginners who want to familiarize themselves with each of the worlds and see what the game is. Then it will be logical to try out a complicated version that does not punish much for mistakes, but still requires some care. And after that you can run the "Veteran" and go crazy from the doubled speed of enemies. But there is also a "Master" …
Levels of difficulty differ not only in the strength of opponents, but in the number of attempts. In this Nex Machina tries to be like classic arcades from slot machines: you can not save in the middle of the passage, when you exit the game you start all over again, and after the death it is suggested to "insert a coin" and restart the level. However, to see such a screen, you need to squander all the lives – they are in reserve for the hero of five. They fall out of the enemies very rarely, so it will not be too easy – it is desirable to be as accurate as possible and not to use additional attempts at all. On the "recruit", by the way, the number of attempts is unlimited, on the "Experienced" there are 99 of them, and for "Veteran" you should be enough 10.
Losing one or two lives is not so terrible – the character will lose his additional weapon (which he can pick up at the same place where he died last time), and the multiplier of points will decrease slightly. It is much more terrible to burn all lives and use a new attempt – in such a situation the hero will be absolutely "naked" and lose all the collected trophies. Given how strong the enemies are at the later levels, you probably do not want to run around with a standard cannon and a single jerk. This does not make the passage impossible, but I really want to start all over again.
The only thing that spoils the impression of the hurricane gameplay of Nex Machina, so it's a battle with the bosses at the end of each world. The first two are quite simple (although they still have to suffer with them), but the battles with the third and the subsequent do not bring any pleasure. They resemble the bosses of Furi: run from corner to corner and literally fill the shell with the whole screen. But if in Furi in every battle there was a logic that after several attempts it was possible to find out, then a terrible bacchanalia of waves, "balls", bullets and rockets is created. Most often, you die, accidentally hitting the heel of an enemy shell – sometimes, of course, through your own fault, but often because of not quite fair conditions.
Sooner or later everything adapts to everything, especially since you really want to do it. Each level is a difficult task, in which you need to prioritize in seconds and try to do everything as efficiently as possible. Wandering people in a couple of seconds will be devoured by devourers – will you pick them up immediately or will you first destroy the enemies? And if you slow down and kill all the enemies before saving the little men, you will not have time to get close to them and will move to a new level. In addition, there are many secret passages that open additional locations, as well as hidden beacons, people and improvements – to get access to all this, you literally destroy the environment and do it very quickly.
If you do not want to sit in the arcade mode because of its duration, you can run separate worlds and perfect your skills there. Each world and level of complexity has its own records of records, which adds interest. An unusual feature of Nex Machina is the ability to start recording the passage of any player from the table and track its actions. A great way to improve your own result by watching the best.
The last cherry on the cake was a test mode in which the passage of the worlds obeys pre-prescribed conditions and is awarded a virtual currency. Sometimes the tasks are no different from those presented in the "Arcade", and sometimes complicate the gameplay – for example, the multiplier points will increase solely with the rescue of men. The currency in this mode is spent both to unblock new tests, and to customize the character – changing his costume, helmet or even the color of shells. No sense from this, but it's funny.
Nex Machina has expanded a number of magnificent arcades Housemarque. To break away from it is difficult – I want to complete the levels again and again, find new ways to shorten the time of passage without sacrificing the people and not missing the secrets. Battles with wild bosses slightly spoil the impression, but otherwise this violent action does not disappoint at all. Rather, on the contrary, the development of the ideas of Resogun allowed Nex Machina to beat its predecessor in its own record table Housemarque .
magnificent arcade gameplay;
each level makes you think through your actions in order to achieve the best results;
an abundance of special effects, oddly enough, does not interfere with the process.
Disadvantages of :
some bosses failed and cool down the overall pace;
the absence of an online cooperative.
There are no translations available.
Housemarque's vocal engine is even better and offers the same gorgeous visual component as in the Resogun. Flying into a multitude of fragments, the enemies are impressive each time, and at the same time they do not affect the staff frequency at all.
Ari Pulkkinen continues to provide Housemarque games with chic soundtracks. The topic from the main menu can be left on for a day, and it still does not get bored. Other tracks are also good.
The Single Player
Nex Machina can be played at a low level of complexity in an hour and a half, but the essence of the game is not that. Studying each location for secrets, and then re-passing in a complicated mode for the sake of the greatest number of points – that's why it should be launched. Alas, brutal bosses are knocked out of a number of advantages of the arcade.
The collective game
Unfortunately, the online cooperative is not supported. But there is a local one, in which two heroes run on the same screen – they have the same tasks, so the gameplay does not change anything. Although the second player can sometimes seem inconspicuous in the sea of opponents.
The general impression
Housemarque once again proved its superiority in the genre of arcade action games. Nex Machina proved to be an excellent continuer of the ideas of Resogun – it is possible to come off only by knocking out all "achivki."