When I heard about this new space shooter from the ex-developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R, now known as Summon Games I was very interested to see what they had done with this genre. Even though space shooters have never been my strong suit. I have persevered with this genre over the years and gotten a whole load of fun out of them, even if I don’t play hyper competitively.
So when I heard there was actually a demo now for Humans Must Answer (sadly only a press demo for now), I was very excited to jump on and have a go commanding my ship.
Before we go any further, I would like to come clean and say I died far too much in the tutorial alone, it is quite embarrassing but I have really enjoyed this game even if the hard fact is I suck at it.[Private_insider] The demo doesn’t seem to include much of the story as of yet. Although the premise is you pilot the scout ship “The Golden Eagle”, manned by a very serious and dangerous crew of intelligent chickens.
After this chicken race discovered the existence of humans they began in hailing them. It really is no surprise to me that the humans only responded in a hostile manner to all attempts the chickens made to talk to the humans. So began the highly dangerous and often times explosive trip combating the best robotic and human defence systems they have in place. In an attempt for the chickens to reach their final goal, The Sun.
I really like the comedic elements put into the story it again is another feature that draws this game out of the masses of serious side scrollers. What can be better than siding with an intellectual chicken race against mankind?
The gameplay has been very well thought out from the start. The first level acts as a tutorial slowly introducing you to new ideas, this really helped me as my ineptitude to the game really showed no bounds. Even the tutorial level continually bested me, which often ended in my hilarious frustration.
The tutorial level does a very good job of introducing you to all manner of new bad guys, even if this seemed too often to result in my death. To me often times the tutorial level felt quite difficult, although this feeling was quickly removed when I actually got into the really meat of the game and released the tutorial as unbelievably tame.
The first actual level starts by throwing you into a hail of bullets and rocks. Only compounded by forcing you to fly through a small tunnel while the enemies continually blast you. This really sets the bar quite high from the early game in terms of difficulty. I actually had nightmares at what hard had in store for me as I was only playing on normal.
In classic shooter style there is of course a host of weapons you are able you fire, you begin with a basic laser that operates as your staple. The laser does however have limited charge so you cannot just spam it none stop. I found this out the hard way getting gunned down by some rather angry enemies, when I noticed my laser decided to stop working mid battle.
You also get a much more powerful shield piercing laser introduced to you early on, which although contains limited ammo I didn’t find running out of it an issue (I can conserve ammo if needed) and due to the frequent amount of ammo drops I was never in short supply. At least during the early portion of the game.
To further extend your arsenal you also get access to putting down a temporary laser platform. This actually helps you to no end with the ability to blast a constant stream of enemies whilst you fly off to attend to more pressing matters. It adds a nice level of extra tactics into the game as well, providing if (unlike me) you remembered to use it.
Alongside the extensive arsenal you also get a special ability. In this case it was a slow motion ability. This actually becoming incredibly useful as it allows you to dodge the incoming hail of bullets this game seems all too fond to throw at you.
Though sometimes they seem to get bored of bullets and throw rocks, bombs and lasers at you to take there place. A very considerate bunch of developers to take extra time in making my life hell. The difficulty however does give the game a highly addicting nature making me want to jump back in and show them who is boss… often times it is them but on the odd occasion I can surprise myself.
All the abilities synergies together well, allowing you to become a killing machine, or in my case just good enough to survive a little longer. With the upgrade system Humans Must Answer adds a nice extra dimension.
You are able to upgrade all manner of areas of your ship which best suits your individual play style. This also makes you much more concerned about how well you perform on each level as each missed wave of bad guys means you overall level points will be lower and these count towards your upgrades, so they become pretty important.
Humans Must Answer also contains a secrets system where you aim to uncover golden and silver eggs. These both play a surprisingly big part on your game progression, as unlocking high tier upgrades often times requires a fair amount of these eggs collected. So Summon Games seem to really want to encourage seeking out and collection these bonus points.
The enemy types introduced just in this demo seem to be suitably diverse, with the typical low tier ones to just fly into your lasers, no unlike lemmings in a conga line of death. These are fun to kill for me, as they offer minimal resistance and nothing too challenging. However this bliss could only last so long and before you know it you have all manner of evil robots hell-bent on destroying you, using all kinds of dirty tactics.
From the demo alone I can see that Humans Must Answer does have a huge amount going for it. The smooth very detailed graphics style really emphasises a lot of the more pretty things, such as the explosions and slow motion abilities well. Though the graphics are not too in your face and over complex, which is a problem with some bullet hell games and you literally lose track of what is going on, not in Humans Must Answer though.
The overall gameplay is very fun, highly challenging but greatly rewarding. After I spent a good hour trying to make it through the tutorial to finally reach the end, it did make my day. This was my Everest. [/Private_insider]
With an ever-increasing difficulty level and a great deal of added elements in Humans Must Answer I have no reservations about the final product. It offers everything you could ever expect from a side scrolling space shooter, whilst adding in some more unconventional elements.
Humans must answer is due for release next year, however Summon Games are anticipate a public demo later in the development cycle. I cannot recommend highly enough up voting on Steam Greenlight. If you would like to follow Summon Games in their development of this fantastic new shooter their official site can be found here.