Although the twin-stick shooter is not an over-populated genre on the PlayStation Vita, those titles that do fall into this category are some of the best available. With games such as Super Stardust Delta, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved, Dead Nation and Resogun available, have the developers titled We Are Doomed as an outlook towards how their game will fare amongst these genre giants? Carry on reading and all will be made clear.
Developed by Vertex Pop, We Are Doomed is as simple as a twin-stick shooter can get. You control a circular ship and fly around shooting other, various-shaped ships in an attempt to stay alive as long as possible. Controlling your ship is as simple as moving the left-analogue stick in the direction that you wish to travel, whilst shooting by pushing the right-analogue stick in the direction that you wish to fire. This means that you don’t have to worry about the controls as you focus on flying about the screen avoiding contact with the enemies that are out to get you.
Your ship’s weapon is a long, laser beam that will obliterate all of the ships in your path with a couple of hits. This weapon behaves as powerful as it looks, with a noisy, neon brightness about it that can also be temporarily upgraded to a Superbeam that gives you a bigger, more powerful laser that will last for a short period if you can fill the relevant meter by collecting cubes that defeated ships will drop.
There are a variety of enemy types in the game, and each type is distinguishable due to its colour and movement. There are ships that will shoot at you, ships that will home in on you, ships that will multiply and even ships that just move about aimlessly. Your aim is to destroy them all in order to obtain as high a score as possible before they can defeat you.
There are two game modes available in We Are Doomed, a Wave mode and an Endless mode. In Wave mode, there are thirty waves that increase in difficulty and enemy count for you to battle through, with four lives given to you for you to try and make it as far as possible before you see the Retry screen. The first twenty waves in this mode are relatively easy, but the difficulty soon ramps up the closer you get to the final waves. Luckily, Vertex Pop have built a check-point system into the game – allowing you to start from either Wave 11 or Wave 21 once you have beat them. This allows for you to play fewer levels in your bid to get to the end, but will mean that your high-score will suffer if you are aiming to top the leaderboards. The second mode in We Are Doomed is an ‘Endless’ mode. Pretty self-explanatory, this mode tasks you with surviving for as long as possible – building up as high a score as you can.
With only these two modes on offer, it is safe to say that it didn’t take long for me to become bored of We Are Doomed. I did get briefly addicted to high-score chasing, and this is something that is further driven by the online leaderboards that the game features, but this soon wore thin.
I did enjoy the audio-visual style of the game, with bright colours, abstract shapes and a synth-soundtrack combining to make a game that looks like the lovechild of Geometry Wars, TxK and Don’t Die, Mr Robot. This certainly is one of the only real positives to take from the game, as even though the look isn’t unique, it does have a distinct feel about it.
With no variety in gameplay and two very similar game modes, We Are Doomed does nothing to innovate nor does it bring anything unique to the genre. It is a shame as, with a little bit more personality and features, We Are Doomed could have been so much more. Unfortunately, when there are other titles in the genre that offer so much more in both quality and longevity it makes it hard to recommend Vertex Pop’s release over any of the other games available in the genre.