(Mini) Game Review: After Wave: Downfall

After Wave: Downfall is a new arcade shoot ’em up from developer 7 Raven Studios. Right from the off, this game already has me feeling a tad uneasy. See, I was given a review code about a week before launch however, the code would not work until release day. This is a tactic that is used by developers and publishers when a game is terrible to keep the bad press down to a minimum before launch. Still, that alone does not mean the game will be bad. I just find it questionable as to why they don’t want reviewers playing the game and being able to write their reviews ahead of time.

It also begs the question, why give me a review code a week before I can use it and not just give me the code on release day? Also, this is just going to have to be a mini-review as I’ve recently been inundated with review codes a couple of days before going away on holiday.

“After Wave: Downfall is an arcade shooter where the player battles against monsters, completes various missions with a cool battleship. Deathrix invaded the world and released a mysterious meteorite causing a great flood.”

Anyway, questionably late review codes aside, is After Wave: Downfall any good? The short story is… it’s not too bad. A vertical scrolling shooter with a good chunk of content. Multiple play modes including story and arcade, plus others. Unlockable characters, each with different vehicles that have their own weapons. A pretty extensive upgrade system that uses an in-game currency that you earn by shooting waves of enemies. This can also be played in co-op for some 2-player fun.

AFTER WAVE DFOWNFALL SCREEN 1

After Wave: Downfall is an arcade shooter that follows the staples of many a shoot ’em up before it. Lots of enemies, lots of bullets and big boss fights. There is nothing here that is done badly, but nothing is done all that well. What you get is a competent title that does what it sets out to do well enough. There are a few niggles. The upgrade system requires a lot of the in-game currency… a lot. This leads to plenty of grinding and replaying the same levels over and over. Then add on the multiple characters that you need to unlock first and all of their unique upgrades. It really is just too much for an arcade shooter like this. You’ll most probably become a bit bored before you unlock and upgrade even half of what the game has to offer. The graphics can get a bit ‘messy’ at times and I did notice a bit of stuttering when there was a lot of action on screen.

AFTER WAVE DFOWNFALL SCREEN 2

Released on the three main consoles, available now and with a price tag of around £13. The core gameplay with After Wave: Downfall is pretty good. Though it does fall a bit short in its execution and has a couple of niggles that prevent it from being as good as it could’ve been. A nice shoot ’em up with plenty of content, gameplay modes, unlockables and upgrades. Maybe just a bit too much though and a very grindy upgrade system can make playing through this more of a chore than a joy. The price is reasonable enough and I played other games recently that are far worse and cost more coin. I found After Wave: Downfall to be a bit of a mixed bag but with more good than bad to make it playable. It’s okay, certainly playable and didn’t need to be held back in terms of review code. I could’ve done a bigger review if I had the code before launch… just saying.

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