One Epic Game is described as a “perpetual motion action game.” What this boils down to is your character constantly moving to the right of the screen, whilst avoiding all manner of obstacles. The main addition in One Epic Game is that of weaponry; lots and lots of weaponry! There is a story behind all the running as the protagonist ‘Alpha Dog’, a “typical muscle action hero”, must stop an evil alien from taking over the planet.[boxout] Sounds terribly cliché, doesn’t it? Well thankfully it’s meant to be, and the game relentlessly parodies some of the main talking points of the industry. Alpha Dog constantly makes reference to the fact that he hopes there’s some DLC coming, and when zombies appear he gets a bit upset and asks why can’t there be a single action game without zombies in – “seriously, it’s getting tedious”. The bit that made me laugh the most was to do with the tutorial, but I’ll let you see that for yourself.
Even the levels are parodies, with the game transporting you into zombie outbreaks, World War, back in time, a nuclear wasteland; all the places you’ve visited in countless other games. The humour is very silly, but the constant digs at all the clichés we’ve come to know and love never fails to raise a smile.
Luckily there’s a good game underneath the jibes, and it’ll keep you hooked way longer than is healthy. As mentioned earlier your basic mission in One Epic Game is to just keep running without being killed. Rather than just stick with that, Grip Games have added multiple objectives that need to be completed before the level will end. Running a certain distance; getting to the end without killing anyone; survive on only one life; these are just a taste of what to expect.
It gets pretty damn difficult, but luckily Alpha Dog comes packing heat. Scattered throughout the levels are multiple weapon drops to help you wipe out the alien/zombie/soldier menace. Pistols, flamethrowers, machine guns, rocket launchers, BFGs; there’s a fantastic variety on offer. Occasionally you’ll even be granted access to a jetpack to kick some ass in the sky. The jumping mechanic is also solid, with the height and distance of your jump dependant on how long you hold the button down for.
When the story mode is done, you’ll want to move on to ‘Free Run’ and ‘Challenges’. Free Run lets you choose a level and just run until you die. To stop this from getting boring the game has a number of achievements you can unlock in the ‘Hall of Fame’. These range from reaching 4000m, to killing 50 enemies in a single run. Whilst they won’t fully appease the trophy lovers, the achievements do provide a nice little incentive to keep going.
The Challenges lets you pick an objective to beat, such as run 500m without killing anything. Each one has three ranks; bronze, silver and gold, with each one upping the ante. There are seven in total.
There are one or two issues, however, that takes the sheen off an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable game. Levels are randomly generated, which led to several occasions where progress was made almost impossible. An example of this would be a mission where you can only take one hit before you die (instead of the normal three). The level generator constantly decided to place a flying enemy before a jump. If you jumped too soon to try and kill it then you’d not clear the gap, but if you jumped at the normal time you’d plough straight into the enemy and die. Needless to say I died a good few times in a row before I got a clear run with no flying enemies.
This isn’t the only time the level generator proved to be a pest, as sometimes you’d pick up a really powerful weapon only to find a new, weaker one, has been placed right in front of that with no way of avoiding it. Very annoying.
For the most part the graphics are great, with a strong 16-bit vibe that really stands out. However, towards the end there was a lot of screen tearing and slowdown, and as you can imagine, slowdown in a game demanding pixel perfect jumps is never a good thing.
- Good value.
- Replay value is through the roof.
- Looks good.
- Cheeky humour.
- Level generator can sometimes be a pest.
- Not everyone will like, or ‘get’ the humour.
- Graphical issues towards the end.
Despite having one or two niggles, One Epic Game is a total blast to play. Not only that, but it’s incredibly addictive and designed in such a way that you can dip in for five minutes, or sit down and spend a couple of hours playing. When it comes down to it, £2.49 is an absolute steal.