Though he’s been quiet lately, one of the top commenters since Mass Deduction went up has been “Alan C with Tea”. He’s read almost every review I’ve ever written, and commented on his fair share along the way. Well, I’m returning the favour today by reading his blog and coming up with a game he recommended, and it’s a doozy: “Compromised”, a science fiction apocalypse-in-progress masterpiece for 240 Microsoft Points.
As Alan points out in his (more verbose than mine) review, that Compromised is a dual-stick shooter in control system only. It’s not a cramped arena shooter with neon-coloured targets, or even zombies, it provides a sense of exploration in a space opera setting.
One of my favourite movies growing up was The Road Warrior (being in North America, it wasn’t called “Mad Max 2″ as the original Mad Max had sadly received almost no distribution. Pair that up with my love of space opera (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and so many others), and the setting for this game has me written all over it.
I love, love, love the H.R. Giger-inspired presentation of the game. It has that creepy, pseudo-organic look to it that just makes my skin crawl (or perhaps that was a flashback to the movie “Alien”). Love or hate the presentation, it’s definitely not dripping “Geometry Wars”-neon at least. The story is solid, if uninspired, space opera fare. It doesn’t answer every question you might have, so hopefully a sequel will address things.
Speaking of things that are solid, the controls are rock solid, I had no complaints in that department whatsoever. Well, other than the fact that lasers fire the direction of your right stick, and missiles fire the direction of the left stick… what’s up with that?
The levels drip variety, containing everything from races down cramped tunnels, to wide-open battles against ridiculously huge bosses. The game throws ridiculously huge bosses at you, and sheer firepower isn’t enough to bring them down, careful observation and memorisation of enemy behaviour and weak points is the order of the day. If you hate that in shoot-’em-ups nothing here will make you love it, but if you have shmups then you’re not really part of the game’s target audience.
I like that upgrades carry over from one life to another, which helps you re-attack areas that killed you with every advantage you can bring to the table. And there are several upgrades to be had, many with nice visual effects. In the final analysis, this game is far too good to pass up. Everyone with an interest in shmups should at least play the free trial, and I’d hope/expect most of you to make a purchase.
Here’s what the developer (Super Soul) has to say about the game:
“You are Aero, a defender struggling to protect your world from invading forces. Stranded in the wastelands of Se-Da you must shoot through waves of enemies and battle massive bosses. Collect energy and upgrades to overcome the staggering odds and find a way home. Experience the stunning graphics, responsive controls, and the heart-pounding soundtrack. Learn more at CompromisedGame.com”