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
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
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.
probably the point.
Matterfall is as slick as all
get-out and is hardly floppy, but following hot on the heels of the
Machina, we feel a little bit let down.
much like Ray,
Housemarque’s reputation precedes them.