WE ARE DOOMED by Vertex Pop.

We Are Doomed Xbox One review

You might think We Are Doomed has a lot of similarities to Geometry Wars if you judge the game by the screenshots, but on your first play through you’ll realise there’s more charm to this twin-stick shooter, as it has a eye-catching visuals and its use of polygons on screen keep the action looking interesting.

If you’ve played the latest Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, then you’ll know that the main objective in these games is to destroy all the enemies on screen without getting hit. We Are Doomed uses polygon shapes to amp up the challenge a bit more and although it does feel a little more challenging to Geometry Wars, the general gameplay is still very addictive.

We Are Doomed screenshot.
An explosion of colour

The enemies are designed to offer a variation of challenges, as blue triangles start off passive until you attack them, then the green diamonds are thrown into the mix and start to menace forward towards you. Each time you see a new enemy type, you’re never quite sure how to react or what to expect. But it keeps you playing and makes everything feel fresh, rather than a monotonous slug through.

There are other elements to Vertex Pop’s stick shooter, as little pixels called “trinkets” will boost your multiplier and charge up your powerful superbeam, which grants you invincibility and stretches the reach of your laser for a short period of time. The more trinkets you gather, the longer this weapon will be available for, so there’s a bit of tactical play to take into account. Do you risk it all for trinkets while clearing out the enemies in your way or do you avoid them as much as possible, making your life more difficult?

Interestingly enough, when you die you’re life counter minuses one life and continues the action. The screen doesn’t reset the enemies, you just pick up from where your death was, which can be punishing at times when you’ve got a screen filled with pesky polygons everywhere. You’ll be left fairly frustrated by this to say the least, in fact I’ll admit that I raged at this feature a lot.

You don't want to be in front of this laser
You don’t want to be in front of this laser

It’s safe to say there is quite a steep difficulty level to We Are Doomed and it’s probably not for everybody, but like most titles in this genre, they test you to your limit and bring out a competitive side in you, as you try to set the highest score. There’s not much variation in gameplay, which will leave you feeling a little tired after an hour of play, so don’t be expecting any intriguing bonus levels to break up gameplay.

If you were expecting hundreds of levels, you’ll be disappointed, as there are only 30 levels in the “Wave” mode, in which enemies continuously fill the screen, which was probably the most challenging. If you manage to complete this you deserve a big pat on the back, as it’s extremely difficult.

And the other mode you get is “Endless” mode, which is like “Wave”, but offers no breaks between waves. It all gets a little bit more crazy in this game mode and is the most frustrating of the two.

In terms of visuals, the graphics are crisp and sharp and the colours on screen seem too overbearing at times when you’ve got lots of shapes flying at you on screen. I found my eyes getting lost on the screen quite a lot, which inevitably lead to my death. There’s also colours used to show you where the playing area is, which can be incredibly confusing combined with all the rest of the action taking place before you.

We Are Doomed certainly packs a challenge for twin-stick shooter fans, but it also has quite a few flaws which lets itself down. The use of colour and lack of game modes will be disappointing to many, especially when you can pick up Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, a better alternative to the genre.

Pros

  • Great soundtrack to the game
  • Nice to see other developers tackle this genre

Cons

  • The colours are a little overbearing to concentrate
  • Not much content other than two game modes
  • Monotonous gameplay

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