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PS4 Game Review

Nex Machina


Format: PS4
Publisher: Housemarque
Developer: Housemarque
RRP: £15.99
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 20 June 2017

Traveling through a diverse alternate universe where robots have taken over and humans have an unhealthy symbiosis with their screened devices, in Nex Machina you start in a "Techno Forest" and then make your way through an ever-increasing robot infestation as you attempt to save humanity...

review imageNex Machina is a new top-down voxel shooter, the result of a collaboration between Housemarque (Resogun, Alienation, Matterfall), and Robotron and Smash TV legendary creator Eugene Jarvis. It’s a fast-paced arcade shooter set in a world where machines have attained consciousness and decided that they no longer need or require their fleshy overlords. It is up to you to traverse each of the game's levels destroying the machines and rescuing the hapless humans.

The game is a two-stick affair: The left stick controls your characters movements while the right is used to point your weapon and unload your never-ending supply of lethal projectiles. If this makes the game sound easy this is far from the truth, as it is constantly challenging, with lots of replay value. In your mad dashing about, dodging to survive, you can destroy parts of the scenery as well which may reward you with a much-needed extra weapon or ability. These are activated via the right bumper switch and the dash mechanic which provides temporary invulnerability will soon be you best friend.

There are a number of options, where you can tinker around with the language, cross platform rankings, vibration as well as the audio and graphics. You can also choose from two control options. I suggest rather than turning the music down you crank it right up as the techno audio track not only compliments the game but adds to the overall feel of playing a twenty-first century arcade game. As well as trophies to acquire, the game also has a list of its own feats to complete.

review imageThere are a number of modes and playing through them unlocks new skins and weapon colours. Arcade is the basic survive against waves of enemies while trying to either save all the humans by touching them or destroying the machines before they can kill the humans. In Arena you find yourself on particular worlds, there are three unlocked initially with you needing to acquire rewards to unlock the others. Single World has two unlocked areas to complete and the game also supports local co-op games. The game also has three difficulty levels which significantly changes the gameplay.

This addictive game has an insane pace, most of the time you feel like you're hanging on by the skin of your teeth, so it’s a bit disheartening to discover that you have finished a level and not only have you not saved all the available humans, but that there were secret exits, beacons and secret humans which you failed not only to save but even noticed while you were holding your breath and trying not to die at the hands of wave after wave of baddies. This incentivises you to play levels repeatedly honing your strategy going back in with a character which is fully upgradable.

review imageThe game adds to its longevity by providing over one hundred levels and five different worlds all of which may contain secret levels, paths and humans to uncover, if your nerves can take it. There are leader boards and rankings so you can see just how pants you are compared to the rest of the online community, but more importantly it gives a competitive edge to the game as you try to better your score.

For a game which attempts to emulate the feel of the old arcade experience it hits just about every point perfectly.


Charles Packer

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