Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Super Trench Attack Impressions

The just released Super Trench Attack is a top down shooter that was almost single-handedly  developed within a span of five years  by one Paul Stephen-Davis. Inspired by the first world war yet with a hefty dose of humour it puts you in the shoes of a new recruit who, due to a staff shortage after the successful invasion of the enemy, will need to complete the most dangerous missions while facing hordes of soldiers and... monkeys. Indeed.

Having played a little of the game I can say that its quality appears to be quite inconsistent in every aspect. For example, the 2D graphics have a unique style full of animations and little details, yet they naturally don't approach the quality of a production by 2D colossi like SNK.

The gameplay seems to have been developed with passion and includes the finding or purchasing of ammo and weapons, upgrading the latter, the completion of varied objectives through large environments which allow and demand their exploration and many more features, even a multiplayer mode that sadly only offers competitive deathmatch and no cooperation.

At the same time, the lack of polish and scope is quite evident. The character's control isn't as precise as it should be, while his range of movement is quite limited considering he can't even jump over small obstacles that you will always have to get around. The enemy AI doesn't present any special behaviour patterns and areas that have been cleared will most certainly be repopulated if you happen to backtrack. Even the way you get shot isn't ideal as bullets don't show up on screen but instead instantly hit their mark, which means the only way to dodge them is to be constantly on the move as far from the enemy as is possible and... pray.

Less important issues include the lack of options in the controls (which don't allow the use of a gamepad but only the combination of the mouse and keyboard) and display resolutions.

Despite these problems, Super Trench Attack remains strangely compelling and I will certainly play it again to discover if it can surpass them through the variety and humour it offers. I can only suggest that you do the same since you can download it for free, play the areas offered as a demo, and then if you so desire unlock the rest of it by purchasing it for $12,99 (about 9,75€).

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