review
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POSTED 26/8/17


MATTERFALL

Housemarque/Sony



Imagine Ray Donovan in a Blade Runner-hued future with better weapons and less black Mercedes’.

That’s basically what Matterfall, the latest all-out senses assault from masterful Finnish voxel wranglers Housemarque, delivers. Except that Ray’s now a bit curvier, and a whole lot more Samus.

Your name is actually Avalon Darrow, and you’re a future freelance fixer. There’s stuff shooting at you – and leftover humans to liberate - while you deal with icky alien matter, which is known simply as, erm, ‘Matter’. It’s easy to understand – blue is good, and you happily absorb it to bolster your impressive array of defences. But red is bad, m’kay?

Seriously, red gets such a bad rap in games.

Anyway, the whole thing is quite reminiscent of the likes of Mega Man with a whole lot of twin stick shooting going on. Or you could say Shadow Complex melded with Housemarque’s pew-pew masterpiece Resogun (and, checking after writing this, others have made this same comparison). Heck, this even borrows some vocal samples from Resogun – multiplier up!

Yep, that last bit gives away Matterfall’s other aim in life – to deliver a score attack shooter. You can limp through with a pissy score, or get all dynamic and shave every possible second off your completion time, finishing each level with a multiplier that will make your mummy proud – and all to a thumping retro-future techno soundtrack.

But... It just isn’t as compelling as Housemarque’s usual fare. It isn’t super-long, but it also isn’t exxy. Controls are a bit of a convoluted bitch to get down. The dash mechanic, which is often your saviour, is also clunky in execution. Juggling the destruction of greeblies while whooshing through the air creating step-onable platforms while also absorbing good matter sure can get mighty stressful.

But that’s probably the point.

Matterfall is as slick as all get-out and is hardly floppy, but following hot on the heels of the sensational Nex Machina, we feel a little bit let down.

After all, much like Ray, Housemarque’s reputation precedes them.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.