Sunday, 16 October 2016

Artificial Selection Game Spotlight

So recently I reached out on twitter for any devs with playable  builds of a game they have or a game they know someone who’s is working on, and asked if they wanted some press, and with what I thought was a lost cause, I was contacted by the one of the creators of the game Artificial Selection, a game that has been in the works for a while now and is even going on the steam greenlight program later this year, so after a little back and forth from them I was given a Dev build of the game to do a spotlight on, which I have over on my YouTube channel, if you’d prefer to just watch the game and see what it’s all about, you can head over to

But… for those of you that would like to read my thoughts on the game I’ve decided to to a full write up of my thoughts and idea so let’s get this started shall we?
Firstly I’d like to reiterate that this is a Dev build and not a public release of the game so anyone who wants to play this I’m sorry you’ll have to get in contact with the devs, and maybe, you might be able to work something out no promises though.

So what’s this game about? It’s a 2D top down shooter, that’s what it is, nothing new, but… instead of just using the normal weapons upgrading system what they have done is to “mutate” the weapons which I thought was a really nice touch this is done with creates that you can pick up, but I’m getting a head of myself a little aren’t I, let’s start from the beginning,

The first thing I saw when I loaded the game was the menu screen, its vibrant RGB neon coloured grid back ground really made the darkish blue menu buttons pop, the buttons themselves have small electrical trails in them around the words, which I thought made it stand out more. There are 7 menu buttons in total and I’ll use them kind of like a table of context for the post to explain the elements in each.
Campaign: So the campaign starts out with a basic story of a good guy having to stop a bad guy from unleashing a terrible weapon on civilization, pretty basic story line but from what I was told the main  feature of this game wasn’t the story as much as it was the gameplay, think of the campaign kind of like a tutorial, it teaches you the ropes on how to play so your can jump in and make your own maps to play with friends, kind of like with AAA titles like call of duty, you play the first little bit of the story mode to learn how to play, then you go and jump online to play with friends. So with this being said there are still 8 playable levels with only one of the not having any enemies to kill just power ups and health points this is just before the boss door.
Controls are pretty standard WASD to move, left mouse button to fire main weapon right to fire special, 1234 to swap between weapons, R to reload(game will auto reload but if you want you can manually do it) and the spaced bar to dash.
The enemies in this game don’t go on patrol rounds per say, they are activated via sound and sight, so if one sees you it will come after you and alert the others, just like it will do if it hears the sound of your weapon firing, which I thought made it more fun and challenging, trying to see how far I could get without being seen was a nice touch.

Destroyable environment, not something a lot of games have but something more should, gone with the days of just barrels or pots being broken to give you things, while this game only has specific things that hold items, the fact that I could sit there and spam a wall till it broke was pretty fun (and no you can’t just skip to the last level… I tried).

The music for this game was created by one of the developers of the game Chris mills-bowling, he has a YouTube channel with tons of his own music on it links to this are over in the description of the video if you want to find out, its mostly upbeat techno influenced, relying heavily on both a synthesizer and drums but also using a guitar and even a violin during the open of the track, this all combined adds to a create a fantastic sound track for the game, if I had any complaints about it, it would be that it is quite repetitive, I understand that making a song that lasts for that long will become repetitive, and that there are only so many sounds one can work with.

The more you go through the game, the harder it gets, right? Well yeah it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy, to many games these days are too easy to beat, and this one is kind of the same, yes it’s hard to beat the boss, but it’s the boss it should be hard, but the a part from just adding more to the screen on later levels, I didn’t feel that it was really a challenge, which is where the arena comes in.

Arena: Want an arena mode? Yeah this game has it, and boy is it fun, I felt it was just what the game needed, and granted this was what the developers wanted the game to be, I would have been quite happy with just playing this, with a max wave size of 10 waves with a possible 50 mobs each wave and an actual difficulty setting, it was where I spend most of my time with the game.

Editor: Ever thought “dam if only I could make my own levels in this game and make it how I want!’? well they have you covered in this one with a possible 33 different textures to use as walls and a total of 28 different ground types, I doubt you’ll have problems finding room to place the whopping 64 different spirits, now apart from those in the editor mode there’s really only 2 other interesting things, there’s a load/save feature and a test mode, where you can spawn in a player and test out your idea, if you watch the video I go over one of the small levels I made as a test of some of the textures.

Credits: It’s just what it sounds like, it’s the credits it has the names of all the people who worked on the game, including the names of people they got sounds from, they fly across the screen which is nice, but it makes it a little hard to hover over the names to find out what they person did on the game.

SettingsWith things like volume, resolution, an in game fps counter there really isn’t much you can’t change in the game, vsync to particle physics, having a good setting menu is key to a game, if you can’t have the game run the way you want, you won’t want to play it. So having the ability to do so was defiantly a tick in the right box.

: This was one of the things I wasn’t too sure about, pressing this button will play out a 10v10 match on the back ground, while I agree it is a good thing to show as it shows what the game looks like, it felt like there was too much going on, onscreen. Maybe have it as a watchable video or something, but having it playing on the back ground was just a little too much for my liking.
Exit Game: Not much I can really say about this, it was a button to exit the game.

Now comes the part of the review/spotlight that most people look for, a score rating, now here at SpotlightGameReview I do things a little differently the game is broken in to 3 section, Gameplay, Visuals, and Fun, I go over each really quickly and give a score out of 10 for each for a possible best score of 30
Gameplay: With the use of the standard WASD keys and the mouse, the game was very enjoyable for both me, someone who uses a mouse and keyboard often and even others in my house hold who are more console oriented, we all agreed that the mechanics and the way the game was set out was good simple, But yet good for replay ability. With that said I give a 7/10

Visuals: The game was full of onscreen action tons of partials fly all over the place, explosions and dead robot bits, but while I enjoyed this, others felt it was a little overdone , now granted you can turn the partials down to the lowest setting, but to play that low just didn’t give the same immersion 6/10 

Fun: This is the big one, how fun was it, if you’re a fan of beatem ups, that what it is, while it has a campaign that’s not what the game was designed for, its designed as an arena game, see how long you can survive, if your also a fan of casual gaming, it works well as something to sit down with a couple of people and try to beat each other’s score, But, if you like to sit down for a game and play the story sorry but this isn’t for you. Still though 8/10

So my final score and thoughts of the game 21/30 or for the % people out there 70%

The game is fun, don’t get me wrong I had a blast with it but being someone who isn’t really a fan of that style of game I wasn’t fully devoted to playing it, and I don’t think I’ll go back to the game until it’s at least on steam greenlight…

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