Space Sluggers is chaotic and so incredibly cheesy


Everyone fights, no one quits

I’m quite a fan of old-school action shoot-’em-ups. Back in the day, I used to venture off to an arcade at my local pizza place and just chill out. With particular titles like Ikari Warriors, Smash TV, and Commando focusing on bombarding players with waves of enemies and monsters, it was easy to let your twitch-based instincts kick in and go with the flow. Not many games nowadays allow you to experience that same exuberant state of bliss these classic titles could inspire, and quite frankly, a lot of games have forgotten the importance of just letting players shoot stuff up.

Thankfully, one title from publisher Surprise Attack Games has not forgotten one of the tenants of old-school shooters. In the upcoming Space Sluggers, players will be able to fire away at a whole assortment of foes across the galaxy. Could you shoot your foes on a planet made of ice? Or how about on a desert planet? Would you shoot your foes on a ship hurling through the ether?

These are important questions in Space Sluggers, and hesitating could mean the difference between life or death.

Space Sluggers(PC)Developer: Rocktastic GamesPublisher: Surprise AttackRelease date: TBA 2015

It’s the year 2560. The universe has become swarmed with nefarious aliens and foes that have put humanity on the ropes. Desperate for a chance at taking back control, humans place their fate in the hands of the Space Sluggers, a group of badass and heavily armed commandos that aims to wipe out the menace and retake control of the galaxy. With their ship ready for interstellar travel, the Space Sluggers go on an epic space-faring jaunt that’ll take them to the furthest corners of the galaxy, all while filling their pockets with cash and leaving countless dead bugs in their wake.

Ok, it sounds pretty hokey. But that’s part of the charm! It never takes itself too seriously, and it seems to be self-aware of how ridiculous the concept is. Sure, we have a lot of games today that try their hardest to be “old-school,” but Space Sluggers feels very much like a title that’s got one foot in the past, and another in the present. I mean that in the best way possible.

The action is very over the top, and your team of commandos seem to call up every sci-fi and action movie trope you can think of. Want to play as a ‘roided-out space marine with a penchant for big guns, or how about a hulking brute who loves wielding blades and chainsaws? Each of the characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, and leveling them up will yield new abilities and gear to handle. And with four-player drop-in co-op, the action stays hectic consistently.

Each planet has its own unique set of missions, and each level and enemy layout is procedurally generated. During my quick hands-on, I got to appreciate the sense of scale each level has. You’re constantly being attacked by foes, some of which are typical cannon fodder, while others are much larger in scope and require a lot of focus to take down. I recalled a lot of elements from old-school arcade shooters like Smash TV and Ikari Warriors, and it was pretty damn fun to be able to mow down so many foes so quickly.

Space Sluggers feels like a neat mix between old-school action from the arcade era with features and visuals from more modern games. Being able to venture to different planets, each with their own aesthetic and monsters to battle along with procedurally generated levels will ensure that players won’t get burnt out so easily. Moreover, characters’ varying skill sets and arsenals will not only encourage experimentation, but also reward you with new challenges and playstyles to explore.

Though a release date is still a ways off, the developers hope to have this title out in 2015. In its current form, the game felt a bit early, and they’ve still got some work ahead of them, but it’s looking to be a pretty promising shooter for those who want a quick and easy title to get into.

Until then, just check out this gif. Seriously, this is considered downtime during the action.