My last game review of the year. To be honest, I actually forgot all about this. I was sent a review code back in October and put it on my to-do list. Then I got sent more and more games to review and well, as I said, I just plain forgot about this. Anyway, what we have here is a throwback to eighties run ‘n gun games like Capcom’s Commando or SNK’s Ikari Warriors. Developed and published by Consulog Games comes Mission 1985.
Alone or with another player, you must defeat the dreaded General Hector and free the soldiers held hostage.
Go through the 11 varied levels and face many enemies, tanks, helicopters, planes… Improve your firepower; use your grenades to defeat the different bosses at the end of the level.
Right from the off, Mission 1985 is pure arcade action and it really did take me back to 1985… only I didn’t have to keep throwing coins into an arcade machine to keep playing. There’s nothing complex here and that’s a good thing. Top-down shooty action and if you ever played Capcom’s Commando, then you’ll know exactly what to expect here. That’ll also tell you if you’ll enjoy this game or not.
Graphically, Mission 1985 has a retro style but not pixel-art. It’s more like a painted art aesthetic and in HD too. The graphics are nicely detailed with plenty to keep your eyes busy. Trees sway in the wind, blood spurts from downed enemies and more. Depending on the weapon you use, the enemies bodies react differently. Hit them with a grenade and their body parts separate, burn them with a flamethrower and they turn to ashen skeletons. Really, Mission 1985 is pretty damn graphic when to comes to its violence.
What you get is nine levels of classic top-down shooting action where you make your way through hordes of bad guys and take out a big end of level boss. Then there are two levels that are a cross between Operation Wolf and Space Harrier. A kind of 3D scaling/first-person shooter thing. These levels do help to bring a bit of variety to the game and keep the action feeling fresh. There’s a good selection of weapons too, classics from the arcade gaming era. Flamethrowers, three-way shot, grenades, etc. Honestly, aside from the updated looks Mission 1985 really does feel and play like an old school coin-op.
Another old school thing Mission 1985 brings with it is the punishingly hard difficulty. This game is hard as nails and for me, that just added to its appeal. There are a few options in the game, you can adjust the number of lives you start with and earn more lives by saving hostages. There’s also a two-player option if you want some co-op fun… and much needed help too. Overall, Mission 1985 is a very fun game. As difficult as Chinese algebra but damn good fun. Still, there is the big question to ask, is it worth the cost? For that, I need to see how much the game is being sold for.
£4 is what Mission 1985 will set you back on Steam (this is Steam only). People spend that much on a cup of coffee these days. For £4, you can get a damn good, old school, arcade shooter instead and it’ll last longer than a frappamoccaduperccino… or whatever crap people buy from coffee shops these days. If I had one niggle, it was the music. Now, I did like the music, very 1980s arcade. But I personally thought it was a bit too loud and it overbears the sound effects. There are no sound options other than to turn all audio on or off. If the dev could put a slider in so you can adjust the volume of the music and effects, it would really help balance the sound to your taste.
But yeah, this is a recommendation from me and a nice little surprise to end my reviews of 2021 on too. Mission 1985 is a loving throwback to arcade shooters. It plays very well and offers a tough but fair challenge. Two-players is always a great addition and the game also has joystick/pad support, as well as fully customisable controls. Look, this is only £4. It’s not going to send you going to the bank manager for a loan, is it? Treat yourself to a little pre-Christmas present and buy a copy of Mission 1985.