Nex Machina is a winner. The game balances exploration in each stage with the threat of massive hordes of various enemies bearing down at you from all sides, and it maintains the fun that comes from relentless action. Though you're essentially only shooting, it never feels tired due to the level variety. Score hunters will have a blast going after each challenge and their respective leaderboards, all while taking in the voxel overload as things explode. Action fans of all types owe it to themselves to check out Nex Machina.
Fabulous tribute to Eugene Jarvis and Robotron 2084, a game of utterly spellbinding visuals, incredibly smooth gameplay, and pure fun. Everything about it is all so polished, complete and glorious, you can see they really went out to work with Eugene to create some kind of peak-level experience for a twin-stick arcade blast-up; even the music is sublime. I watched the documentary "The Name of The Game" which was utterly fascinating and made me appreciate Housemarque even more; what a story. This game is a straight 10 for me, it's absolutely marvellous and just massively entertaining and enjoyable in so many ways.
If you have any intrest at all in this genre, you should give this game a try. Im not a game criticer or anything but what i can say is i dont remember having this much fun at any game i've ever played in my life. This game is perfect in my opinion.
Nex Machina is up there with Resogun as the best game Housemaque has ever released and is a great throwback to the arcade shooters of old. In terms of presentation and design, it is perfect and its smooth, brutal, and challenging gameplay makes it feel wonderful to play.
In a gaming landscape where every game has bountiful side quests and unending DLC, it’s nice to play a game that knows what it is and sticks to that formula from beginning to end. While Nex Machina won’t be for everyone, it’s a game that absolutely excels at being what it set out to be: a challenging, beautiful arcade shooter that will constantly ask if you want to continue.
Finnish studio Housemarque have produced in Nex Machina another game to sit alongside its well-received titles of Alienation and Resogun, and that showcases the serious pedigree it has built since their start in the early nineties with Stardust. It is a rush of colour that delivers a satisfying experience that’ll steal your calm and let you imagine a future where the robots don’t wipe us all out.
If there’s an arcade genre that has stood the test of time as fun, it’s the twin-stick shooter. You know the games: Robotron, Smash TV, Asteroids. While developer Housemarque has been creating THE twin-stick shooter experiences since the 90s, it wasn’t until the HD version of Super **** that people really started to take note. While they’ve put out some other fantastic games like Outland and Dead Nation, the next game that really took the genre to the next level was Resogun. Housemarque is here to redefine the genre once again.
Nex Machina was created with Eugene Jarvis as a creative consultant. If that name means nothing to you, note that he worked on several of the aforementioned titles, in addition to the likes of NARC, Total Carnage, and the Cruis’n series. Put simply, it’s hard to think of someone more attuned to the nature of arcade games. Pairing him with Housemarque is a dream come true.
The game at first glance is strikingly beautiful, with an enhanced engine that was used for Resogun. While both are great looking games, Nex Machina stands well above the other. From the set pieces to the character models, and even the explosions of voxels, everything here is improved. Saving the humans is back, which creates a sense of urgency in each room as you introduce the enemies to your arsenal weapons. Of course, saving them is optional, but as is typically the case with an arcade game, you’re playing for the high score, and every little bit counts.
In addition to the normal movement and shooting you’d expect, you also have secondary weapons in the form of pickups and a dash button. Dashing allows for movement without being damaged, which is useful as one hit will kill you unless you have a shield. And with a seemingly endless supply of enemies in certain rooms, on top of the near bullet-hell type gameplay, that dash is necessary for avoiding death. In addition to the shield that you can pick up, you will also find enhancements to your bullet spread, rocket launchers, swords, bombs, lasers and more.
The difficulties are steep, although they are certainly fair. If you absolutely need to beat the game, but really struggle with deaths, the easiest difficulty has an unlimited amount of continues. The normal difficulty offers 99, while the hard only provides 10. Of course, beating the game without any is an option as well, but that will take the most dedicated of players. If you die in a room, you can learn from your past mistakes, as the AI will play out in a similar manner. Naturally, the way you approach it will change the way they interact. And humans are always top priority depending on the enemy, so you may want to take advantage of them being distracted before picking up the squishy life-forms.
In addition to the obvious objectives of humans, killing all the enemies including the level’s boss, and not dying, there are many secrets to discover. And with the sheer amount of things going on in each room of the levels, they are easy to miss. You’ll be playing levels over and over to find everything the developers have hidden, and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It provides more reason to go back to previously played levels other than beating your friends’ high scores, which is already plenty of reason in a game like this.
Speaking of friends, if you have someone you like to play things with, this offers local co-op. If you think the screen is insane by yourself, just add a whole other person shooting bullets to the mix. Note that the co-op is limited to local, and it’s really no wonder as any amount of lag could lead to disastrous results. Even with a solid internet connection there are hiccups, and honestly, most people don’t have their systems hardwired to a high speed connection. It’s awesome that the option is available, and smart that they stuck with the couch.
While the arcade mode is the game’s obvious focus, there’s also an arena mode that will task the player with beating levels under different conditions. Think of games that add certain handicaps while expecting you to still beat it. You will find many challenges in the trophy list, and they add so much to an already content rich game.
The only thing left to sweeten the deal is the music. Ari Pulkkinen lays down some very heavy, trance like beats, which is par for the course with him. While it is what you’d expect, it doesn’t make the soundtrack any less mesmerizing.
As always, Housemarque delivers with a game that is not only simple, but fun beyond compare. It’s rare that a developer is able to create new IPs that are consistently described as something that you’ll be addicted to the moment you play them, but that is undoubtedly the case here. Nex Machina is sitting at the top of my list for not only Housemarque games, but PS4 titles available right now. Strap in, get your thumbs ready, and make some voxels go boom.
The more you play, the more you see the flaws. I put 40h into the game and got the platinum trophy and also beat the very last boss, Nex Machina. So let me tell you that the game is actually an excellent twin-stick shooter but unfortunately it is very short (45 mins). It is so quick-paced I don't even remember what the enemies look like because you shoot them on sight and after one hit they perish. There is also one totally abusable mechanic - it's called "dash explosion", with that you can dispose of enemies right after they spawn giving the no time to attack. This'll end up as your primary weapon for killing non-one-hit foes. They normály have up to three phases but you get to see none of them since you execute them before they have a chance to breathe. But don't get me wrong, the game is in other aspects absolutely wonderful - exciting and smooth game-play, good soundtrack, challenging bullet-hell, nice design, etc. It is truly a shame that it's so short. I would give this 7.5 but since the user score is lower than 8 I opted for 7.
Nex Machina: Death Machine is a twin stick shootem up in where you blast everything on screen that wants you dead. The game includes power-ups and weapon abilities that give an edge in your scourge against the machine menace. Their really is no story, aside from machines have taken over and you must save humans while destroying everything in your path. Let me now discuss my thoughts on the different topics that this game has:
Visuals and Levels: Extremely vibrant and colorful environments that go by a cyberpunk voxel art design. I was impressed but also hampered by the color shifts whenever enemies used their different abilities for me to dodge. The amount of enemies on screen posed an issue whenever I was trying to keep a step ahead of them and sometimes got caught on objects and then killed. The enemy designs themselves are cool but all pose a uniform color model of red that makes it hard at times to tell what even is coming at me. The retro arcade bit style of things being destroyed is a neat little touch. The levels themselves are short in duration but range on size and setting, each having their own challenge to them that feels fresh and yet familiar that doesn't comprise the simplicity of the game. Each area is comprised of about 15+ plus levels and can be cleared usually in about 8-10 minutes (depending on difficulty mode).
Gameplay: High intensity as you would expect from a twin stick bullet hell like game. Enemies by the hordes will zero right in on your ass and you will shoot and destroy every single one of them to clear a level. Along the way you can also save humans, secret humans, destroy certain robots to get more points and obtain secret levels and more. it's too cryptic with how you learn the secrets at all. Considering the game is fast paced and meant to make you move constantly and think on your feet, it feels counterproductive to do this way in this game in my opinion. The power ups include shields, triple dashes (dashing allows you to avoid damage and move through enemies with invulnerable frames), extra lives, increased multipliers, etc and they all have good usage that do not go underutilized. The weapons are mostly good; the sword is the weakest weapon with too small a radius to hit enemies, the laser is great at destroying hordes down narrow areas but at the unfortunate cost of slowness that could spell death if you hold it for too long, the rocket launcher shoots a wider line and has a surprisingly small blast radius, the detonator shoots a bomb that you remotely explode that is great against enemies behind ones you can shoot at the moment and so on. Despite this being a twin stick shooter, it feels like there should be more creativity with the weapons in not just visuals (which they all mostly look great) but have more tactical play that evolves the game's strategy.
Enemies and Bosses: They range from little spider like bots to giant bombs that release shockwaves that forces you to dodge. The variety feels good and as you progress newer units change the priorities a bit and make the game far more interesting. The bosses kick ass, they have great move sets to them that makes them a challenge and joy to engage in. Only the final boss feels lacking and that is where I have to make a statement I feel is justified but might be disliked...
Length and Duration: I was shocked by how short the game is. To make sure I was not crazy, I went through and beat it again on a stepped up difficulty to make sure I was dreaming. It took me about an hour and half to beat the game twice. When I beat the final boss I thought I was I would be about a third of the way done with the game, but when I saw a cutscene and the credits, I was in disbelief. Sure, what was already coming along was good, but it felt like there was such a waste of potential here that it pains me to see it be this way. Even if the game would have 10 to my idea of 15 areas at least it would be far more laden with challenge. The bosses and level designs are very well done, but the shortness of the game is the game's fatal flaw and I can't grasp how this was acceptable by the dev team. I am all for shorter more precise games but a game like this should have more clever designs. Had it had 10 areas instead of 6 I would have been more forgiving, but that is too much for me.
Other things: Co-op can be done couch play style, but not online which is bizarre. The challenges feel retreading with no unique hook or modifier that makes it interesting. The difficulty is too punishing on higher modes and feels artificial than creative. The music is excellent and very well done.
I feel this belongs to a very certain type of genre fan who will enjoy its designs, but I ultimately felt disappointed by the potential it threw away. $20 feels a bit much so I would say wait for a sale for this one. Good overall but feels odd on a console and would be something I would have played in a arcade instead.
A twin stick shooter from the makers of Resogun. It has much of the same graphical style, most of the same game modes, but none of the same magic.
Its well made, but rudderless as you fly through a rapid succession of meaningless stages which end with an undecipherable formula and a score that feels empty.
Like **** Ultra or Resogun, i guess you are supposed to continue to replay the 5ish stages for higher scores ---then on more difficult settings for a more intense challenge, but its all so similar and missing a worthwhile end goal.....i just dont get why you would. There is so little opportunity for alternate play styles or strategies, it ends up being an almost identical experience each time.
There are some achievements called "feats", and some slight customization you can unlock by grinding currency from certain **** again, why? Do you care if your barely visible character has a slightly different highlight shade to his white outfit.
I was looking forward to this game and preordered it, but after 10 minutes i was bored. I thought i had missed something. I played through each mode more than a couple times, hoping the game would grow on **** didnt.
It steals virtually all its enemy and even stage boss mechanics from Resogun, making it feel very derivative.
In a sentence, Its Resogun without the novelty, PS4 launch limited competition, and charm.
It will probably be a PS+ game by Xmas....save your money.
SummaryFrom the collaboration between Housemarque (Resogun, Alienation, Matterfall), and Robotron and Smash TV legendary creator Eugene Jarvis comes Nex Machina, an explosive arcade experience created with competition in mind. Can you survive the mechanical onslaught of hundreds of evil robots trying to obliterate any threat? Can you stop them ...