You know those people who say global warming is not a thing? Yeah, they were wrong. The end of the 21st century proved that, and since then nearly 96% of the world’s surface has been covered by water. Now, as a Hunter, you fight to survive. These aren’t your average enemies though, as the forms of aquatic life have changed drastically. Machines have evolved, and taken the place of the vast Animalia that inhabited beneath the sea. Now metal versions of what we once knew thrive below the surface. Crabs, squids, and sharks alike have all become more vicious and deadly forms of what they once were, and a select few are bigger, stronger, and pack a lot more firepower than their common brethren. It is up to you to seek these select few out, and destroy them, making the seas a bit safer for you and yours to travel. Welcome to the future, hope you don’t have any terrible fears like claustrophobia or open seas.
Earth Atlantis is a 2D side scrolling shooter from developer Pixel Perfex and Publisher Headup games. You take the mantle of a Hunter, which gives you access to multiple ships for which you can call your home and your weapon. Each have a different weapon and stat base, with some touting better health and others ramping up the fire power. It all depends on how you play, whether you are more evasive and reserved or prefer to end fights quickly, there are a few options for you to play around with. The game is a semi-bullet hell approach to the genre. While fighting common enemies, the game is a lot more casual, but when it comes to the variety of bosses, things can get a bit hectic. Bullets, bombs, missiles and more cover the screen. The only way to avoid these is with some fluid piloting, which may take some time to perfect. At the end of the day though, you need to persevere with all your skills in mind, shooting being one of them.
Along the way, you will shoot quite a bit. The more enemies you kill, the more likely you are to find dropped upgrades. You can upgrade both your regular shot as well as a special shot, each which can be improved a finite amount of times. Your regular shots upgrades can consist of additional bullets to additional shot directions, depending on which ship you are manning. The specials are a bit varied too, with electric shocks, bombs, homing missiles, and regular missiles all being a part of the lineup. Depending on how aggressive of a boss you are going up against, different specials can come in handy. For enemies that passed by often, the electric shock comes in handy, as it zaps enemies that are within a certain range. For more static enemies, a homing missile can be useful as a way to keep your distance and focus on dodging their barrages while still laying down some firepower. The bosses have some pretty awesome designs, and were one of the strongest focal points of the game. They really stood out and any sea type mythical creature you could want is present. From monsters reminiscent of Godzilla enemies, to those more common like giant squids and shark like creatures, the designs and sheer power of the bosses are pretty badass.
The art style furthers the coolness of these enemies, and the sketch style really flourishes in their designs. It falters elsewhere unfortunately. Do not get me wrong, I like the approach, but the lack of colors sometimes make it incredibly hard to distinguish certain enemies and projectiles locations. While I am not sure if it was intentional, it is bothersome. In a bullet-hell scenario, it is key that you know what you are avoiding and where it is. The other downside is that the game can sometimes grow dull. Your only goal is to track down every enemy, with no substance in-between. While the bosses are fun to fight, everything in between that is lackluster. Unless you are a diehard for the genre, it is hard to find many reasons to keep searching the same areas over and over again, backtracking when a new boss shows up.
While Earth Atlantis plays just fine, looks great minus some obscured objects, and runs smooth as can be, it just does not elicit much desire to continue on. The boss fights are awesome, and the game is definitely up the alley of those seeking challenges, it just is not incredibly fun in many senses. The enemy design is great, playing with different ship styles is interesting, and the scenery in the background is intriguing, but outside of that there is much to be desired. Fans of the genre may hit topside satisfied, but personally, dipping my toes in these waters was all I sought out to do after a few hours romping around the barren seas.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 6/10
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