Doomsday Hunters by Moregames
I’m going to be completely honest here; when I first saw Doomsday Hunters, I expected to get bored of it quickly.
Sure, the game’s pixel art looks stunning, and it’s got a 90s Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic that I’m a sucker for. The thing is though, it’s an isometric twin-stick shooter Rogue-like with randomly generated level layouts.
That’s not inherently a bad thing, but there’s millions of these. It’s a genre that opened a floodgate thanks to the success of titles like The Binding of Isaac and Enter The Gungeon, and part of me couldn’t help but be like “Do we really need ANOTHER of these?!”
I say this not to disparage the game’s design, but to highlight that it had an uphill battle to win me over. And, win me over it did; this game is a blast.
Doomsday Hunters is light on plot and all the better for it. Earth is gone, hostile aliens have taken over, and they all need to die. Choosing from a selection of unlockable mutants and miscreants, your goal is to use your guns and gear to murder your way through this strange new world before ultimately dying and starting again.
The gameplay will feel immediately familiar to anyone who’s played some of the games I mentioned before. Move and aim with the sticks, shoot with one trigger, dodge with the other, use the bumpers for abilities; to many this will be second-nature.
Similarly, levels feature interconnected single rooms in the vein of classic Zelda, along with a bevy of random weapons to pick up, monsters to fight, and weird NPCs to trade with. Again, familiar.
What sets Doomsday Hunters apart from its peers is its embracing of its own sheer chaos. For all their zaniness and out-there premises, games like Isaac and Gungeon are ultimately very slow and methodical experiences. They reward you for taking your time and being careful, because one wrong move could end your run.
This game, on the other hand, wants you to take risks and and blow shit up, because blowing shit up is fun, even when it leads to failure. It’s more welcoming than many games of its kind, and I think there’s a lot of value to that.
Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die
Content-wise, Doomsday Hunters has plenty to offer too; it boasts over 1200 bits of gear to unlock and try. In a smart bit of design, it also only offers up a few of the different varieties of enemies at the beginning of the game, adding new ones to future runs as you unlock more toys to play with. It’s a novel and interesting approach to difficulty scaling that I think more games could learn from.
Despite all this praise, there are a few issues that keep Doomsday Hunters from being perfect. Its tutorial is pretty barebones, and a lot of the game’s currencies and mechanics go unexplained, requiring a level of trial and error that I sometimes found irritating.
Also, as much as the game’s chaos is its strongest asset, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a few frustrating deaths as a result of things that I couldn’t see amidst everything happening on screen.
Even with these complaints, Doomsday Hunters is an easy recommend for anyone remotely interested in twin-stick shooters and Rogue-likes. Also, everyone needs to see the game’s artwork in motion, because seriously this is absurdly gorgeous.
Doomsday Hunters is available via the Nintendo Game Store, PlayStation Store, and Steam.
Watch the trailer for Doomsday Hunters below: