Be Awesome Or Die Trying!
The Showdown Effect is Paradox Interactive’s & Arrowhead Studios new 2.5D fighting platformer, which throws you into the world of a true action epic made up of other true action epics! Sounds like a pretty neat idea right? Well it is about as cool as it sounds, putting you in the position of one of a choice of comedic takes on some of the greatest movie action heroes ever to have lived to battle it out in an ultimate showdown! Be prepared, because this is no chilled out, gentle paced platforming adventure. No, this is a brutal bloodbath at the end of which there can only be one victor, but will it be you?
There are two main factors which make The Showdown Effect the truly awesome game that it is. The first is that it is a unique idea; bringing together classic action movie heroes and their stereotypical showdown settings in a 2.5D world in which player fight to the death with pace, tact, brutality and passion to be the last man standing at the end. It is always nice to see something a bit different thrown into the mix amongst the popular multiplayer experiences offered by massively multiplayer online role playing games or first person shooters. It is even nicer to see this happen when it works so well as this game does. The second factor which really makes this game is that it is fun; the crucial factor that in modern gaming seems to be all too often either forgotten or overlooked by developers. Here though it seems as if it may have actually been to focus for once. Everyone loves a fun game, especially when it is one that can make you laugh while you mindlessly tear holes in your enemies with bullets, swords and blunt objects alike! The Showdown Effect deserves a lot of credit on the simple fact alone that it is fun to play, because it is becoming something of a sorry rarity to see in modern gaming.
So aside from the idea being great, how is this game? Well, it plays relatively simply, maybe with a few controls being hard to remember at times as it seems to have a surprising amount for a platformer, but by no means is intrinsically difficult to play. As platformers go it also adds some good new dimensions, such as using lifts to traverse the game’s levels and the ability to pick up weapons and objects from the environment to utilise in your epic battles. The aim of the game is a simple one; to kill as many of your opponents as you can and be the last man standing once the final showdown takes place. The game is entirely online multiplayer aside from a training level which allows you to fight training dolls and get to grips with its basic workings. This is not a problem to the game as it has been well designed and is different to what other games have to offer. It is true that many gamers desire a storyline to the games that they buy, but given the game’s friendly low price and unique gameplay it does not seem like a matter for a great deal of argument over. There is also a good deal of customisability available to the player, giving them the chance to use the in-game currency earned from winning battles to change their character’s appearance and aresnal. It is always nice to be able to play as a unique character in such multiplayer games, or if you are that way inclined to show off how good you are by buying the most expensive things. Some customisations require players to spend their real pocket money in order to use them, but there is plenty to keep them happy in game if they do not wish to do this.
In terms of the look of the game, it has something of a retro feel and is drawn in such a way that it is almost somewhere between trying to make it look animated and trying to make it look realistic. Whatever the plan was behind it, the look certainly works with the game’s fun nature and is in no way displeasing to the eye. The movie style of the game is a very cool touch as well, with each battle beginning by introducing your character and ending with credits in the order of awesomeness (i.e. who scored the most to least points). The sounds of the game in this instance however are maybe even more entertaining than the graphics. With heavy, fast paced guitar riffs in the style of 80s action epics and high powered heavy weaponry clashing throughout, the game sounds as awesome as it looks and plays, just adding to the coolness which surrounds it as a whole!
The Showdown Effect was made to be an epic game and at that it has most certainly succeeded! It is fun to play, has an awesome style, it looks and sounds great and has been developed well all round. It is not perfect of course as no game ever is or ever will be. The aiming system for using guns is a little bit tricky, often requiring you to place the reticule on the enemy to hit them which at this games pace can be very hard indeed. The controls can be tricky to grasp at first as well, even after a little time getting used to them. Other than some minor points though, this game is simply awesome in a box and for the gamers who think it looks up your street I must urge you to give it a try!
The Good – A unique title with has an awesome theme. It plays well, looks and sounds good and is a genuinely fun game to play!
The Bad – Some elements can be difficult to control at the game’s fast pace and the controls themselves can be a little tricky to remember at times.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.