Opinion about the game Steelborn. The Major’s Adventures on the Planet of the Toothy Scum

It would seem that the platformer genre has already said everything it could, back in the days of 16-bit consoles. However, representatives continue to come out to this day, and they enjoy stable popularity not only among a small handful of people, but also among fairly broad masses. Some focus on a beautiful picture and a lively soundtrack, and some play with the introduction of new mechanics.

steelborn, as the main feature, gives the player a hefty walking robot, which seems incredibly cool, especially when there are not so many games about Mechs. However, the Steelborn entrusted to the player sometimes looks more like a huge tin can than a formidable machine. Yes, the first creeping reptiles or “toothy bastards”, as one of the characters calls them, do not even damage him, but at the same time he always cannot climb somewhere, the pilot has to leave the cockpit and clear the way with his small pistols. In the conditions of the aggressive planet on which we find ourselves, this looks like a very dangerous undertaking. Nevertheless, you expect power from a combat robot capable of demolishing all obstacles in its path, and here is some kind of clumsy exoskeleton.

The pilot, against the background of his combat vehicle, looks like a real acrobat. One has only to press one button and the main character will jump out of the robot like a champagne cork. He jumps high and runs fast, only everyone he meets really wants to devour him, or at least blow him up. The Major moves through the levels very quickly, shooting everything alive and inanimate along the way, and always keeps one hand on the hilt of a sword hanging behind his back, which is why he very much resembles the posing Rose from the movie Titanic.

His path, of course, is teeming with various muck that needs to be burned out with the help of all available arsenal. Some opponents are so disgusting that you want to get rid of them as soon as possible so that not a single pixel is left, and some, on the contrary, are very cute, like flocks of small flying spiders. Usually, there is nothing worse than meeting such a swarm, but here they would rather be tamed and settled in their base, if there was such an opportunity. Unfortunately, most of the game is fairly linear and repetitive, and the level with free-roam through the intricacies of corridors gets tiring quickly, even with a map at every turn. It’s good that the game periodically throws up new weapons and it becomes more and more convenient to shoot “space scum”.

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The mechanics of overheating the main weapon of the robot is made interesting. There are no scales for it, but visually the machine gun noticeably heats up and if you do not stop shooting, then it goes into a long cooling. True, this mechanic can play a cruel joke, because it is visually very difficult to determine that with intermittent firing, the density of fire practically does not decrease, but the gun no longer needs cooling. But the robot itself looks even more interesting, but rather more comical, if you lower the tool vertically down. Michael Jackson himself would envy such a moonwalk. When the game forces a huge clumsy robot to jump on small islands among acidic lakes, then you want to turn away from the screen from awkwardness. You can’t scoff like that, this is a fighting vehicle, not an Italian plumber, it’s good at least you don’t need to get into the pipes.

Bosses deserve special mention. Each of them is unique and drawn with soul. They are not too difficult, and after a couple of deaths, each has its own approach. With seemingly the most common platforming mechanics, the game is fully revealed on the bosses. The character, whether in the robot or outside of it, is forced to move around the arena and use the available arsenal to the maximum. With ordinary opponents, the game cannot achieve this level of immersion, but here the bosses, starting from the very first, are forced to reveal the full potential of the game to the maximum.

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In general, the game looks very nice and pleasant, only the texture of the stones is annoying. It turned out to be very monotonous, rude and there is too much of it around. If you manage not to notice it, then the picture will be a pleasure. But the main menu is so beautiful that you don’t want to leave it anywhere. A very appropriate heavy composition plays in the background, and the visual style sends you back to the times Jets’n’Guns. And the introductory video is done very well and with original visual solutions, which is unexpected for such a small project.

There are a lot of flaws in the game itself, such as a confused button for using a battering ram on a gamepad or a sudden, unconditioned explosion of Steelborn, and I don’t want to remember about entering the battle with a boss with fourteen percent health due to inappropriately placed save points. . You can live with them, and the developers should fix them in the first days after the release of the game, but how hard it is to get used to the fact that we live in a time when changes are made very quickly in games at the start and everything starts to work in just a couple of days, as intended . These are not distant years when patches were sold on separate discs, or did not come out at all.

Eventually, steelborn this is a pleasant nostalgic walk, evoking memories of the times Contra: Hard Corps. Not as difficult as it was then, but capable of making the modern player sweat. In some places, the levels seem empty and do not allow the player to get into the right rhythm, and the visual style and level design are lame, but boss encounters level out all the nit-picking and each one looks like a small holiday.

The project is available on Steam.

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