Long time PlayStation fans will recognize the name Housemarque Games and have probably even played some of their previous games such as Resogun, Super Stardust, and Dead Nation. Their latest game, Nex Machina continues the trend of building beautiful, action packed games featuring twin-stick controls.
In Nex Machina, humans have become deeply dependent on technology, while around them, machines have reached consciousness and surpassed human intelligence tenfold. The machines turn on their creators and make it their mission to eradicate human life.
While the storyline seems interesting, in all honesty, you’ll probably never even notice that there is a “story.” I know I didn’t. This is a pure, action packed game where the goal really is to just shoot everything in sight, maybe rescue some humans, and then destroy a giant boss. Nex Machina is pure joy with lots of secrets to discover and technique to master.
I say master because there is an arena mode where you’ll be able to battle it out against players from all over the world to see who can top the leaderboards. Each world has its own leaderboards and I can honestly say that it is so hard to get a high score. Some of these people I see who are up on top have scores in the hundreds of millions so I have no idea how they are doing it. My scores are usually in the lowly 3 millions or less. Regardless, it’s been so fun trying to gain that higher score and trying to unlock all the secret areas and secret humans to rescue which might be the key to the higher scores.
Another ridiculously fun mode is co-op which is limited to couch co-op. That means there’s no online play but a buddy can join you locally. I love playing locally with my son on games like this because it means we can both enjoy the game at the same time and I don’t need to buy two copies of the same game just to play with him. Not only that, games like this are meant to be enjoyed with others where the action gets so hectic and confusing with so much going on that you just can’t help but smile.
Aside from these two modes, there’s also a straight up arcade mode you can play that will go through the entire game and all levels in one go. Depending on the difficulty setting you choose, you can get anywhere from no continuous, to 99 continues. Beginners will probably choose to go the rookie route in order to get a feel for the game and to discover where all the secrets are.
Lastly, lets talk about the presentation because this will always come up when you’re discussing a new game. The graphics in Nex Machina are amazing and that’s really no surprise considering this is a Housemarque game. Pretty much all the games they’ve ever come out with have been gorgeous and Nex Machina is no different. The environments look terrific and are highly detailed as well as the character designs, but the main thing that will really catch your attention just how much you can destroy and how great it looks when they explode. Anything that makes use of light such as explosions, gun fire, special weapons, environmental lighting, it just all looks so good.
With all that said, Nex Machina is one of the best top-down, twin stick shooters around with plenty of action and challenges. It’s not an easy game to play but it sure is rewarding when you start to do things right. While games like this have been around for a long time, Nex Machina manages to really modernize the genre and makes it feel new and fresh. This is one of those titles that is just plain fun to play and so hard to put down especially if you go in on it with a friend.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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