Pacing in video games is always important, just as it can be said that the written word also requires delicate and considered pacing, a joke must be timed correctly, or a plot twist revealed at the most exquisite moment. The concept of pacing has never been more prominent in my mind whilst writing this review of We Are Doomed because of this;
We Are Doomed is a twin stick shooter, you control a blob, you have one weapon, one super weapon, and there are two game modes with online leaderboards. It’s quite fun but pricey.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know about the game, that’s all there IS to know about the game, it’s about as complicated as a quiz question on This Morning but I have to write considerably more about the game to fill this page and still keep you, dear reader, interested. This is a challenge, even the file size is taunting my writing skills as it is tiny, just 38mb, and you could have downloaded the game and played a couple of levels by the time you’ve reached the end of this paragraph.
As you can tell from the image above the graphics are simple vector shapes and the action takes place on a single rectangular play area. Your ship, if indeed it is a ship, is a star-shaped object, the enemies are triangles and rectangles and your weapon is also a thick stretched hexagon. Destroying enemies (of which there are about eight types) spawns squares that can be collected to power up your super beam, a larger hexagon that lasts for about five seconds. It’s very colourful and does look chaotic but I never felt the screen became too confusing.
There is a soundtrack running in the background but it’s barely noticeable and the sound effects are limited to a bang when an enemy fires, your own laser firing and muffled explosions when you kill an enemy. Over the course of thirty levels the game introduces new enemy types including a laser that wipes across the screen, large disco balls that home in on your ship when you move to close, and blue decagons that bounce around the screen and can only be destroyed by your super beam.
I’ve reviewed quite a few twin stick shooters recently and in terms of gameplay We Are Doomed is by the far the best. It’s excellent fun and has that essential “one more go” factor to keep you playing and moving on to the next level. There are checkpoints at levels 11 and 21 so you don’t have to start from the beginning, and both modes have online leaderboards so you can keep track of your friends.
However there are two interlinked problems with the game. Firstly, we return to where the review began, pacing, as it took me around two hours to reach level 30 and finish the main portion of the game, leaving just the endless mode to play. Secondly, it costs £7.99. I don’t know why it’s priced at £7.99, the game is a production of a one man development team, but for that money you can get you a lot more game from other titles. For example TxK has vector graphics much like We Are Doomed, but has fifty levels and five thumping tunes included the soundtrack for £5.99. The Endless mode does increase the longevity but I am already 8th on the leaderboard so there isn’t much competition at the moment.
I really enjoyed the time I spent with We Are Doomed but I cannot overlook the price and length of the game. At a lower price point it would make a great Vita game, but on PS4 there a number of other titles that you could buy for the same amount of money and get many more hours of gameplay. Sadly I have to dock a few points from the score for that which is a real shame.
Version Tested: PlayStation 4