The original “Awesomenauts”, released in 2012 featured highly-addictive and satisfying 2D multiplayer battle action for the PS3, Xbox 360, PC and OS X. Essentially reframed as “Awesomenauts Assemble!” for a release to the PS4, the game remains largely the same but has been updated in terms of its visuals, menus and netcode. Needless to say, the game offers a smashing good time and it doesn’t appear to take itself so seriously (as clearly evidenced by its puffed-up J-Pop-ish title song), which is slightly refreshing in today’s market that’s filled with uber-gritty titles attempting to hit that next level of intense realism. Instead, “Awesomenauts Assemble!” presents us with a colorful, romping platformer experience that also happens to feature some truly excellent multiplayer interactions.
The first thing that most will notice about AA! is its very defined and vibrant graphical / art style. Although this game is decidedly 2D in scope, side-scrolling being featured throughout, it does an excellent job of implying 3D depth and various with its dazzling array of backdrops. Of course the real draw is the onscreen action which, needless to say, can get quite hectic at times.
Those who might have already experience this game on the PS3 will find that this isn’t merely a lackluster port to the PlayStation 4. Instead, “Awesomenauts Assemble!” is a fully fledged redesign of the now classic title which includes extra characters, stealth-based levels, as well as other critical content.
However, where “Awesomenauts Assemble!” truly soars is in its gameplay, which is nothing short of astoundingly satisfying. You typically start off facing off in PVP (Player vs. Player) matches of 3 on 3 where the goal is to destroy the other team’s “solar collector”. Of course that’s easier said than done as each group has its own turrets, droids and assets to prevent the other from achieving their objective. The average match might last from anywhere between 5 to 25 minutes (a great length that’s perfect for casual consumption) and features the sort of action-based strategic gameplay that’s very addictive.
Starting out, you choose your particular character which possesses their own method of locomotion, special moves and standardized attack. Moreover (and amusingly enough), each mercenary also has their own theme song which will blare loudly when you find yourself on a particularly emotional killing spree. In order to build upon your character’s level you must collect Solar, which functions as XP or currency within the game. Since everyone can see what level each character on the opposing team has reached, those with the highest rating tend to be dealt with more carefully. It’s these kinds of subtle gameplay elements which make “Awesomenauts Assemble!” such a tactful title.
If you’re looking for a wholly satisfying and colorful PS4 arcade title which is very much multiplayer-centric, then look no further, AA! will definitely hit the spot. Furthermore, retro gaming fans will find plenty to love in the title’s updated 2D stylings as well.