DEVOURER OF WORLDS
Nex Machina is set in a world dominated by machines, in which human beings have been exterminated or enslaved. The anonymous protagonist of the game is a soldier who, armed with a powerful shotgun, decides to cross six different scenarios with the aim of eliminating all the robots and saving the people held prisoner. The control system is that typical of the twin stick shooter, with the left analog stick that serves to move the character and the right one to open the fire and determine the trajectory of the shots.
The backbone keys are used in a similar way to what is seen in Dead Nation and Alienation: the left allows you to make a shot that makes it momentarily invulnerable and therefore allows you to escape from dangerous situations; the right one activates the eventual secondary fire, to be collected inside the levels. In fact, by destroying certain boxes
it is possible to upgrade our equipment in various ways:the shot multiplies in the available attempts (each regulated by a short charging time) and becomes even “explosive”, damaging the enemies involved; the rifle gains reach and breadth of fire; an energy shield protects us from a successful blow, doubling our life expectancy; the secondary weapon allows you to activate a devastating
force field for hostile units close to the character, use a laser sword from a very short distance, a missile launcher, a loaded shot, a bomb that is launched and explodes at the command or a powerful laser beam.
In Nex Machina, selecting the type of secondary attack becomes fundamental in order to successfully reach the final phase of the campaign and complete it.
During our tests we literally hated the sword,a powerful tool that forces to get too close to the enemies to hit them, thus proving useless against the six bosses of the end zone (all well characterized, various from the point of view of design and with non-trivial attack patterns), and loved madly the laser, which slows our movements but
offers a constant and powerful beam, which quickly reduces the energy of the robotic adversaries. For the rest, the mechanics fielded by Housemarque with this title reminiscent in many ways those of Super Stardust, assuming in some cases the typical features of bullet hell, when the enemy fire literally fills the screen and avoid being hit turns into a desperate undertaking.
The immediate and enthralling nature of the gameplay literally “traps”, bringing to face in sequence all the short stages that make up each of the six worlds (can also be tackled individually in the appropriate mode), learning to memorize the pitfalls and the organization of hostile units , as well as the
presence of hidden survivors that must be found by shooting like mad at all the elements that make up the scenario, experimenting with the ability of the voxel-based graphics engine to “dismantle” their structures with an incredible naturalness and keep the sixty frames constant per second. Played on PlayStation 4 Pro,
Nex Machina is a real blaze of lights and effects, sometimes on the verge of annoying (be careful if you suffer from some form of photosensitivity), which overwhelms you with fast shots when you switch from one map to another and is accompanied by an extremely apt and engaging techno soundtrack.
PLAYSTATION TROPHIES 4
The thirty-nine trophies of Nex Machina are obtained by completing the individual worlds and the entire campaign with the four levels of difficulty present, but to unlock different achievements you have to go deeper: use certain weapons against the bosses, complete five levels without moving or even a level without firing, getting all the power ups and saving all the surviving humans. Not a thing for everyone, in short.
THE EXCELLENCE OF EXECUTION
The aspect of the experience linked to the discovery of the secrets and the discovery of all the survivors, obviously thought for the “completitionist”, is at the end of the accounts as the salvation of Nex Machina from the point of view of duration. Completing the campaign of the game is in fact an operation that requires very little timeand that does not present an excessive degree of challenge
for those who chew twin stick shooter for years, at least at the intermediate difficulty level. Different is the case if you try to reach the end at the advanced level or at the maximum, since the enemies are more cunning and dangerous, but above all significantly decreases the number of “continuous” at your disposal.
This element is well framed in the perspective of the balance of the gameplay: when you are hit you lose a life and even the last powerup, but remains on the map, ready to be collected during a return that corresponds to the zeroing of the stage.