Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Game Reviews: Dead Metal

Dead Metal is a spaceship shooter game based on the Bubble Tanks 3 engine. (Bubble Tanks 2 is mentioned here.)

You move around a spaceship with the "WASD" keys (or a custom arrangement) and aim your ship's weapons with the mouse, and click hold down the left mouse key to fire your primary weapon. (There is no point to doing anything but hold down the fire key for the primary weapon, because most of the primary weapons have a sufficient fire rate that there's not really any strategic purpose for timing.) There may be extra weapons fired by hitting the space bar. Other than that, the only things to learn are individual ship features.

The character you sort of play as is one of the meanest-looking female characters I've ever seen anywhere, and her dialogue in game is sufficiently vicious to match.

She makes cracks comparing her enemies to four week old kittens, five year old children, and her great grandmother, and her enemies are found wanting in all of these comparisons. (She also makes at least one vaguely sexual remark.)

When you hear that the game is based on the Bubble Tanks 3 engine, you might wonder about the graphics. They're pretty nice, and don't involve bubbles.

The orange ship there is the most powerful and expensive ship you can use, though it's a tad disappointing because you can see the maximum potential of a ship looking at a few of the others, and this one falls short of that. Still, it's pretty nice. I'd recommend skipping over a lot of the ships, as the most effective strategy is darting around and spraying fire in whatever direction the most enemies are in, and some ships are slower-firing or shorter-ranged. My favorite ships are the Bullet Storm, the AI 3100, and the Demo Man because they fit into this strategy well (the Bullet Storm is notably more effective than two ships that cost nearly twice what it does, for instance), and the Demo Man will hold you over until you can afford the Crusher, the most expensive ship.

Dying will happen rather frequently, especially in stages with the purple ships, which belong to the Chosen, who can inflict status effects on your ship. It's not too big a deal until such time as you've topped out your ship purchases, as then there's no possibility of getting better weapons. Still, the difficulty level isn't too extreme, and I've managed to unlock all the levels, even though I haven't finished all of them.

This is a pretty fun game if you like "arrow and mouse" shooters or any kind of top-down shooters, so you should probably give it a shot.

-Signing off.

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