One Epic Game
World War II, aliens, zombies and guns. Sign us up.
A little self-awareness can go a long way. Grip Games knows only too well that most of what we play is terrifyingly cliched nonsense that's been covered a thousand times over.
For the purposes of clarity, what we're dealing with here is "an alien invasion right in the middle of a zombie outbreak in a fantasy kingdom, somewhere in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with World War II also involved somehow." Yes, that probably covers it.
What it means for you, dear player, is a rather potty side-scrolling platform game, where you're usually concerned with getting from one side of a level to another without dying.
With strands of Canabalt DNA liberally transplanted, you don't control the running, but instead focus your boundless superhero energy on leaping and shooting. That in itself wouldn't be terribly interesting, but Grip Games wrings the formula for every last drop of creativity with a series of feverishly enjoyable levels that constantly shift their focus.
Sometimes you're focused on jumping and shooting your way to the goal, but, sure enough, a bunch of level conditions throw you off balance, forcing you to switch gears entirely. Sometimes it's about building up the required 88 mph to get back to the future, elsewhere you have to play the pacifist and avoid killing the alien invaders.
And because you're a lantern-jawed action hero with a smart helmet, you can always rely on some testy exchanges and a reminder of the utter futility of your actions.
But far from slipping into self-satisfied smugness (while repeating all of the crimes that it's critiquing like the heinous Simpsons game), One Epic Game gets by through the tautness of the level design, the unexpected variety, and its ability to keep you coming back for more even when you're being driven around the twist by its playful arrogance.
Used under license from Eurogamer.
What's Hot: Smart level design, furious shooting, old school 2D graphics, over the top story.
What's Not: Quickly grows repetitive, plays like countless other titles.