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Shoot Many Robots Preview [PAX East 2011]

One of the most fun booths at all of PAX East was the Demiurge booth for their new title Shoot Many Robots. The game was playable, people could submit their own robots to be placed in the game and the Demiurge staff was dressed up quite strangely; fairy wings, beer helmets and kilts all added to the party.

Cynthia and I sat down with the team to get a hands-on tour of the game and I knew right from the start this game was going to be a blast. As we are handed our controllers we look to the screen and see what our "home" is, a beat down, teched up RV which could only be compared to the Ninja Turtles van. As we ran through the RV some things quickly stuck out. Our closet was ripped out and instead was turned into a storage closet for all of the various weapons. Beer and all other forms of awesome were strewn throughout on the floor. Probably the most hilarious was the weapon purchasing system which was done by using the toilet.

Why the toilet you might ask? Well, I asked too and the reason was fairly simple. A character such as yours would clearly do all of their shopping via catalogues while using the Jon, right? I really couldn't argue with that logic so I just laughed and we moved on.

As the first stage began you could immediately draw parallels to other games, in fact, the Demiurge people did it for us by calling their game "BorderSlug" which was homage to Borderlands and Metal Slug. Honestly, I can't argue with them. This game has some of the same off the wall humor and even a little of the art style of Borderlands while having the gameplay akin to that of Metal Slug (or really any side-scroller).

The gameplay, as previously stated, is akin to other familiar games with a few differences; such as a melee attack and a jetpack. The jetpack doesn't work exactly how you might expect where you can rocket around the screen, but when jumping if you lock your characters movement it allows you to float above the ground and shoot. I thought that was a great mechanic and I got a ton of usage out of it during our playtime. 

Your weapon selection is based on what you have equipped before moving into the mission. You know the weapons you purchased while on the toilet? Yeah, those weapons. In our mission we had not only our basic weapon but also a rocket launcher. It seems your primary weapon has unlimited ammo, however your secondary has only a limited amount so you have to be cautious with their usage.

The other interesting mechanics are self-healing and resurrection. Self-healing is done by drinking beer which is just a simple button press away. (Don't we all wish you could just press a button on your 360 controller and receive a beer?) Resurrection is also fairly simple, if you die (fall down) your ally only has to stand over you and hold a button for a few seconds and BAM; back to life. We didn't play long enough to see if there were limitations to this but it didn't seem like there were. And I died, a lot. (Nice medic skills Cynthia!)

After playing through one full stage we also had a chance to play a boss fight; which interestingly was an entirely separate stage. The boss fight was fairly simple; he would throw oil on the ground and then light it on fire. There was of course one small spot which there was no oil that you had to get to in order to be safe. No ground breaking boss mechanics but it was still a great time.

One last note on the stages, when we were directed to go to a stage we did so by "using" the steering wheel in our RV. The interesting thing is that the progression here is not linear and we were able to select one of many stages to go to. I really like this since it stops the game from being stagnant as everyone can pretty much do things in whatever order they want!

Coming out of PAX Shoot Many Robots is another new title I have added to my watch list. This game may not be the most revolutionary game ever made but I will tell you this: It was a hell of a lot of fun. And just in case some of you don't remember, fun is the reason we all play video games.

Keep your eyes on this title, you won't be disappointed. You can learn more information about the game on their official site.