Review: Not a Hero

Platform: Steam (Coming soon to PS4 and PSVita)
Price: £9.99
Release date: Now

Notes: For the purpose of this review I played Not A Hero using a controller and while playing with a a keyboard and mouse isn’t that difficult, using a controller is highly recommended.

There’s a large bunny rabbit man, called BunnyLord who wants to become to Mayor of Vodkaville (CHECK IF RIGHT), but he needs the help of various crazy characters, from the geezer lad Steve to Cletus the Shotgun loving snapback fashionista, to take down his rivals and the corrupt goons of the city, to do so naturally you’re using violence and lasers to kill lots of enemies to get him his wishes, but still, it’s not corruption because well….he’s a bunny man so we’re the good guys right. Right?

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Gameplay

Not a Hero is brought to us by Roll7 who also created the award winning OlliOlli series.The basic principle of this game is simple. You have to clear out a building of enemies and completed specific objectives, then escape. To commit the pixelated colourful mass murdering, you have one weapon that is specific to your character, but has the ability to change its firing function based on absorbing dropped upgrades. Most weapons have the ability to become lasers, ricochet ammo or fireball projectiles, for a limited amount of rounds. There’s quite a roster of playable characters to choose from, 9 in total, all unlocked as you progress through the levels, 20 in all. (CHECK LEVEL COUNT)

You are given optional objectives which serve as point boosters and what ranking you will get at the end of each level. Giving the accent of some of the characters and the titles of the ranking achievements, it is safe to say that the world of this game is in 8Bit England.

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Taking cover is pretty important in Not A Hero and In the first couple of levels, you would be forgiven for assuming that you can go in guns blazing and succeed. But tapping A to take cover or to slide tackle an enemy allowing you an execution shit, is pretty much paramount to ensure you survive the perils of each level and believe me each level increases in difficulty. Difficulty is not the correct way to use though it is apt, contrariness would describe the progressing of how tough it is to reach the exit of each level. Sometimes you can get locked between two enemies, with no way out and you are furiously shot at from each side, which does create an amusing ping pong effect with your body until you die. Enemies like to cover too, but timing and planning can get you through the trickiest of levels. Or just say to heck with it and go guns blazing for glory!

It’s easy to find yourself wanting to replay levels to try with new characters, catch collectibles and try to get higher rankings. Not A Hero takes common addictive (in a good way) gaming factors and lays them out simply, yet stylistically and with a touch of British humor which is a welcome change. No offense America.

The music is fast, 8bit style that usually accompanies this style of game and the sound effects are boisterous,with the voice actors performing amusing character accents and colloquialisms.

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For games with scrolling text, it would be e beneficial to either have a text speed option or the ability to hold A to make the text scroll faster or pressing A skips the current line, but not the entire scene. That’s the problem there, that the entire scene will be skipped, when all you wanted to do was quickly read the dialogue and dive into the game.

Conclusion

Not A Hero is a game that will not only appeal to people who enjoy Hotline Miami, but especially to those that like that style of game but don’t necessarily want to play Hotline Miami.

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Though humour is entirely subjective, (apart from Irish potato jokes, they’re just lame), Not A Hero offers wacky and harmless dialogue that isn’t trying to evoke any allegorical thoughts on society. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing at all unrewarding or bad about games that do, but games are meant to be fun and immersive and sometimes games should be easy to pick up and put down, whilst feeling full and offering replayable value to gamers. Not A Hero ticks those boxes and with a lot of AAA games coming out as a whole package or in episodic format, the yearning to play a game you feel you can finish simply by picking a controller and going for it, is sorely needed, at least for this gamer.

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