Awesomenauts Assemble Review: In Your PS4, Killing Your Dudes!
Ronimo’s online battle arena game, Awesomenauts, has finally hit Sony’s new console, the PS4. It comes with a new title, Assemble, but retains the same core gameplay that made the game a cult hit in 2012.
If you’re not familiar with Awesomenauts, its a colorful, comical action platformer. The game is over the top with weapons, combat and humor. Two teams of three people duke it out, destroying all the turrets protecting the opposing team’s base before finally destroying your opponents home base core to win the match.
Of course you can’t play offense all the time as the other team will be trying to take down your turrets and core too, making things very hectic. In addition to the six people playing online or offline, players can command computer controlled robots to attack or defend an area, pushing the number of characters on screen over 12.
Everything can be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer but once you get your butt kicked for a few rounds you begin to wrap your head around the ins and outs of Awesomenauts.
There are several characters to unlock, each with special attacks and abilities. Some are even new and made for this PS4 re-release. One character might drop dynamite while another will create a time slowing bubble and suck the life out of enemies while another can lay down creatures that damage nearby enemies.
All characters are locked behind the leveling system which can be a little frustrating at the beginning when you run into players who have already unlocked more powerful characters.
There are seven brand new playable characters when compared to the PS3 version of Awesomenauts and each has their own unique look and attack style. Ronimo did a fairly good job of balancing characters though depending on your play style you will use a select few more often than others. In the game’s original release some characters were overpowered but with the addition of these new characters things seem pretty even.
Making things complex, Awesomenauts uses a in-game currency based system to unlock abilities and attacks during matches. This in-game currency, solar, can be earned by killing enemies or collected throughout each stage. You spend solar to upgrade abilities and get new attacks.
For example, Lonestar can purchase a raging bull that pushes all enemies caught in its path away from the player but additional solar is required to make this bull explode upon death to inflict extra damage on opponents. Of course choosing when to go back to your base and purchase new abilities is hard to figure out as you’ll have to either wait until the next time you’re killed or abandon your team in battle.
Assemble brings some new content to the table and that shouldn’t be scoffed at but fans who have already played another version of Awesomenauts have little reason to double dip. The game is fun as always but matches can drag at times especially if you’re on the losing side. Like most MOBAs, Awesomenauts requires some patience and not everyone will give it time to blossom into a addictive online game.
Gameplay can be a bit of a drag as I mentioned. While everything is chaotic and mostly fun, it is particularly deflating to fight an uphill battle against a better team. Not only that but if you lose your connection or the host leaves the game you don’t keep any of the experience you gained during the match. I ran into this once myself during a pretty good round statistically only to be met with an error saying “the host left” and being kicked back to the main screen. I don’t think this is an issue with the game’s online functionality and there probably isn’t much Ronimo can do about it but it is still disheartening when it happens.
Awesomenaut’s audio isn’t anything to write home about. There are amusing little tunes and characters each have their own phrases that relate to their personalities but nothing really stands out. In-game music is passable but you remember anything a month from now.
Visually the game is simple and colorful. It should be more aesthetically pleasing with nicely crafted environments and unique character designs but there just feels like something is missing. I suppose that’s because there has been a flood of 2D indie games over the past few years so at face value Awesomenauts doesn’t stand out too much from a crowded pack of polychromatic games fighting for your attention.
Credit must be given to Ronimo as there appear to be no lag issues in the game whatsoever. Other than random disconnects which weren’t necessarily the game’s fault, I had no issue with online play at all.
If you haven’t played Awesomenauts yet and are in need of a good multiplayer game, be it local or online for your PS4, Awesomenauts is the game for you. It has a bit of a learning curve which might scare you off but keep it up and you’ll find a simple but rewarding competitive experience. At $9.99 you can’t really beat the value of a game with a good amount of replay value on the PS4 right now.
Awesomenauts Assemble isn't for everyone but those that can enjoy its long, hectic battles will get a rewarding experience out of it unlike any other game on PS4 currently. Review copy provided by Ronimo Games.