Hello Templars! Welcome once again to The Balanced Blade. Today we will be taking a look at a charming little game called Super Mutant Alien Assault as it comes over to the switch.
SMAA is a delightful little game from the developer Cybernate,
published by the organization Fellow Traveller.
While at the surface, Mutant Assault is a fairly simple design, I have found myself addicted to its fast paced combat and difficulty that can be experienced for a meer 9.99$ on Steam, PS4, PSvita, Xbox and now the Switch console.
Time and time again I have felt that the Switch perfectly for these types of games and Mutant Assault only serves to prove this point even more.
So, let’s cut into this title shall we?
–Steam promo video-
Three fleets of spaceships flee a doomed Earth carrying the last humans in cryostasis. Pursued by aliens, it’s up to the lowly security droids to save humanity.
Taking up arms solo or with a friend, you must dance with death in a brutal and addictive arcade platformer shooter inspired by Super Crate Box and stuffed to the brim with unlockables.
Fight through rapid fire single screen levels each with a random combination of platform layout, objective, vending machines and enemies.
Dodge and weave amongst the aliens to stay alive but don’t leave them standing too long or the ship’s radiation will mutate them into bigger, nastier versions.
Only by unlocking and mastering the wild variety of weapons, explosives, special abilities, defense moves and perks can you hope to survive across all three galaxies, rid your ship of the mutant menace and save the oblivious humans.
An interesting story to say the least, however this story will not be found in the game. Instead, Mutant Assault is just that, an all out Assault on the senses, both visual and auditory, as you blast away alien scum on board the ships.
As you play with life and death in the confines of the ship, rapid fire style levels give you no little time to breath as hordes upon hordes of alien scum come crawling through the ship walls to meet your weapons.
The aliens themselves are both interestingly designed and plentiful in the best kind of ways, throwing new mechanics at you with each passing level.
And in these tight corridors, the enemy mechanics all merge to create a brutally fast paced, difficult game that is oooh so satisfying to play.
On top of this, each level is procedurally generated to a certain extent, throwing new obstacles and problems to deal with at you with each run you take.
You will never know what weapon you get, what enemies you will fight, what moves and perks you will get, all converging in an intensely interesting design that can be played for as long as you want really.
Weapons, sidearms, special abilities, perks, explosives defensive and offensive moves and characters unlock with each run, adding to the madness as you have the time of your life killing and mulching alien scum left and right.
The weapons in this game are as interesting as they are dangerous at times, changing how you play the game from moment to moment. My personal favorite is the Nuclear Pogostick, it’s just ridiculously fun to use.
-Pictures of gameplay curiosity of steam page-
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to do any bulletin points for this game, as there is very little to do points on here. But I felt so strongly about this that I had to. The music in this game is outstanding. Simply awesome. It fits the gameplay and design so, so well and it had me from the very start, drawing me into this world. I love any game that can make some real use out of my Razor Nari Ultimate haptic feedback and this game does it beautifully. I just wanted to make note of the gorgeous audio design in both music and weapons, as well as enemies. It brings the game together so well. I’m a huge fan of Neon Retro style music and the folks at Cybernate along with their Soundcloud Affiliates and music creators knocked it out of the ballpark with this. Well done.
All in all, its a ton of fun that can be played for as long as you like, and at only 9.99$, in my opinion it’s a steal. Especially on switch, with “couch co-op anywhere” capabilities and the ability to take your friend into the fray with you, there’s only more fun to be had. But also, having a friend there is it’s own sort of madness, with explosives and explosive firearms, you realise that having a friend by your side makes the game no less difficult than you thought it would.
I only feel that this game is held back from being as good as something like “The Bindings of Isaac” simply because of its lack of build up, lack of interest in lore, Lack of boss types, lack of substantial build up on characters in a run and the lack of truly interesting map types. I think it would be awesome if the follow up game, if there is going to be a follow-up game, really fleshed out the ships as a whole with asymmetric run and gun segments like Metal Slug or Cuphead.
Nevertheless, I will be looking forward to the next game in this format, style and lore. I would love to see something RPG rogue-like come out of this design, with some real story and meat behind it.
That way, I can lock, load and save humanity, one dead alien at a time!
7.3/10 A finely edged blade
Until next time Templars, Strike True!