Following on from Kim’s pick yesterday, it’s now Ben’s turn to choose his best of Rezzed 2015 – and he’s gone for Sock Thuggery’s bullet-hell-with-brains, Mighty Tactical Shooter.
|Name:||Mighty Tactical Shooter|
|Release date:||To be announced|
|PEGI rating:||Not listed|
|Platforms:||Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, PC|
|More information:||Official website|
You might not think it but shows like EGX and Rezzed are a lot like crowded market places. Whether a Moroccan Souk or the Bull Ring hundreds of stalls line up to show you their wares, passionate about the product they are selling and keen to share a tale or two. The trick is to keep an eye out for the bargain, the one item the seller doesn’t know (or realise) the true worth of. Then comes the haggle, a game within a game, to try and secure it for the cheapest price.
Worth isn’t just about money, mind you. Even the cheapest item can have a priceless hereditary value. One man’s coal is another man’s gold and all that, and the same applies to games. To some annual big budget releases are the high value items whereas the small, creative indies are worth most to others. We all have our personal preferences which is why events like Rezzed are so important.
Like a market, developers have the opportunity to set out their stalls and engage directly with their customers. They can discuss their product, demonstrate it in action and – let’s face it – try and generate a sale at some point down the line. It’s up to them to make sure they stand out, to have a product that will appeal, that’s a little bit different. It’s these I try to keep my eyes open for as I walked through the crowds and this year, there were some absolute gems.
In my opinion the shiniest gem was Mighty Tactical Shooter, or MTS for short. Bullet-hell games have been around since the days of Space Invader and yet no-one has put the spin on it that the team at Sock Thuggery have. On the outside it plays just like any other side-scrolling shooter with a lone spaceship blasting away at alien hordes until only one is left standing. That’s where the similarity ends however as every single shot fired has to be carefully planned, plotted and executed.
It comes from a clever blend of RPG and real-time-strategy mechanics by which the game is played. Control of the ship comes from pausing the game, plotting out the route it will take over the next couple of seconds and choosing the right armament for the job. Helpful lines show the expected trajectory of bullets and baddies, allowing the player to determine the best route to dodge and destroy. It might sound like a slow process but the intuitive control systems means the time to the end of each level flies by.
Even better is once a level is complete you can view a replay of the whole thing in real time as if it were a single run. It’s the most satisfying thing to see your ship zip in and out of enemy bullets like a pro, blasting to victory.
Mighty Tactical Shooter takes an established genre and does something completely different and unexpected with it.
Why was it my game of the show? MTS grabbed me more than any other title there. I kept coming back again and again to try and speak to the team and get some hands on time. It takes an established genre and does something completely different and unexpected with it. Sock Thuggery aren’t playing it safe – they’re doing what they love and it’s coming together brilliantly.
Bullet-hell with brains. I love it.