The Showdown Effect Review | ThinkCreatePlay

The Showdown Effect Review

Arrowhead Game Studios is known for their hit game Magicka, the pop culture filled wizard game had interesting mechanics and a fun sense of humor; for their next game, The Showdown Effect, Arrowhead doesn’t back down when it comes to the humor and mechanics, instead they pack it all into one $10 game that has a sense of style.
After jumping into a match, you’re going to understand the kind of tone that this game creates for its self. Each of the characters that are available to play as in the game, of which there are eight, each fall into a ‘80’s and ‘90’s action movie caricature. Dutch McClone, for example, is an imitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the character he played in the Terminator; however, what makes these characters fun to play as is the occasional one-liner that they will yell out.
Remember that “style” I was talking about earlier, well this is where the majority of it comes from. The characters each have their own little quirks and personalities; it makes the game feel kind of like a bad b-movie in a way. They each have their own story behind why they are fighting and what their ultimate goal is. Even with that said, the characters don’t feel like they’re from a bad b movie, instead the one-liners and little story bits found in the character load-out screen both fill the game with humor and personality.
The characters that Arrowhead has crafted for its new game are what lend it most of its charm; however, the art of the game has a hand in it as well. The Showdown Effect is drawn together with a cartoony art style over a 2.5D plane; the simplicity of the art helps to keep the player focused on the action and not loose themselves in the background. Each of the four environments has their own little flare; one arena is set during the medieval times in a castle, while another is set in a neon filled downtown.
The most beautiful happenings in the art style, however, will have to wait till the end of a match. Every match of Deathmatch, or Showdown, players are forced into what is called a Showdown. Before the Showdown all players will get a refill of both their health and ammo, however, once the Showdown begins each player is only given one life; during this event the game becomes tense; the music amps up, providing the player with a fantastic rock solo; rain pours in from the sky, setting a great mood over what is happening; and the background turns into a set piece for either a meteor shower, a giant man versus Godzilla fight, and a number of other things.
One of the great touches that Arrowhead put on the Showdown is a slow motion shot of the last player getting torn apart by his opponent’s gun or sword. That little flair at the end of such a heart pounding event is great; it gives the loser a chance to realize what just happened and for them to bask in their shame. Of course this wouldn’t be as great if The Showdown Effect had typical 2D shooter mechanics.
Being placed on a 2D plane sort of puts The Showdown Effect in an awkward position; there are tons of 2D shooters out there, what makes this one any different? Well, like their previous game, Magicka, Arrowhead crafted a unique mechanic that makes the game stick out from the rest of the crowd. Instead of playing like a standard 2D shooter (look left shoot left, and vice versa), your hits depend on whether or not your cursor is on your opponent when you shoot.
For example, if you place the cursor just in front of your opponent or just behind them, then the bullets will miss, but if your place the cursor right on them the bullets will hit their target. It’s a unique system that makes fighting in arenas a matter of skill and not whether or not you’re facing the correct direction. However, it is a difficult system to grasp and takes time to fully master; sadly the only tutorial in the game is in the shape of a single time trial event, that has you shooting stationary targets.
As touched upon previously, there are in fact game modes in The Showdown Effect; four to be exact. Showdown, which is  your typical flavor of Deathmatch, aside from the extra touch at the end; Team Elimination, where — you guessed it — your apart of a team. The catch here is that every time a team member of yours dies, the respawn time is increased by five seconds, and in order to win a round, every member of the opposing team must be dead at the same time.
The Expendables is an altered take on the previous game mode; one team is the Expendables, and each time a team member dies the respawn is increased by ten seconds. The other team are the Henchmen and their goal is to kill the expendables; although they are fragile, spawn with random weapons, and cannot pick up items, the Henchmen have unlimited ammo. After each round the teams alternate, giving the Expendables a shot at revenge and the Henchmen a taste of their own medicine.
One Man Army, is similar to The Expendables. The One Man Army has to survive the Henchmens assaults, once he dies the next player in line will become The One Man Army, and the previous will become a Henchmen.
These different game modes offer The Showdown Effect some variety for the player to enjoy. However, no matter which game mode you choose to play, your still going to be gaining your AC’s; the currency found in the game.
The Showdown Effect starts you off with three characters to play as; they each bring their own special abilities, one-liners, and story, but if your want more characters your going to have gain AC from the matches you play. Each character in the store costs 1500 AC, which translates to about an hour or two of game time; that depends on how good you are, of course. The benefit to buying additional characters — aside from another slew of one-liners — is their special abilities. The stock characters each have their own abilities; such as a shield, a jet pack, and a grenade; but the characters available for purchase could have more useful and interesting ones.
Aside from the purchasable characters, guns, skins, and outfits are also available. Both the skins and outfits for purchase are purely cosmetic and won’t effect your game in any way, but the guns each have their own style of use; for example, the shotgun is for up close and personal shots, while the rifle is more for the long range player. However, there is a secondary store that has outfits and skins that you can purchase with real money. As none of the items available for purchase ever affect the actual game play, this won’t bother the players stuck with the AC only purchases.
After playing The Showdown Effect I didn’t know what to feel; happiness, satisfaction, sadness, or jealously of the other players who were better than me at the game. After about an hour, however, I started to understand the game and its mechanics; I felt the thrill of head to head battles, the satisfaction of killing another player, and then the sadness for dying during the “Showdown Effect”.  This game isn’t for every one, though; if you become easily frustrated, then the games hard to master aiming mechanic isn’t going to be a turn on, but if you have the time to put into The Showdown Effect then the satisfaction that you’d get from killing an opponent will be well worth it.
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About Romello morris

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