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Bunch of Heroes

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: NGD Studios
Developer: NGD Studios
Release Date: Sept. 21, 2011

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


PC Preview - 'Bunch of Heroes'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on Sept. 11, 2011 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Bunch of Heroes is a humorous four-player cooperative top-down shooter. The game sets a super team of Earth's warriors against an Alien invasion and their Zombie Army.

While the game isn't yet complete, Bunch of Heroes has a pretty understandable gameplay premise.  From a top-down perspective, you play as one of a handful of characters as you gun down various zombies and other enemies.  Each character has special moves, and you will make use of all manner of high-powered weapons to clear your way through each level's objectives.  However, in its current preview state, a lot of tightening up still needs to be done, as at times, Bunch of Heroes feels slightly rough around the edges.

The overall cartoony vibe permeates nearly every aspect of the game, from the character and enemy designs down to the levels.  Everything is well-defined and colorful, but the cheery nature is in stark contrast to the fact that within a few seconds of gameplay, you will be splattering zombie blood all over the side of a barn as you dodge undead chickens that are pecking at your heels.  It can be a difficult game as you maneuver through enemies that seem to respawn and pop from the earth as fast as you put them down.

However, Bunch of Heroes doesn't hold your hand at all to the point that it can be punishing.  In the preview build, there were many times when it was unclear as to what was needed to complete an objective.  Often, objectives boil down to little more than protecting something or staying alive in an area for a set amount of time, but there were occasions when I'd fail objectives simply because not enough information was provided about the conditions of success.  One can hope that the final release is tighter in this regard, as overall, it seems that there isn't enough feedback to help the player figure out what needs to be done.

To complete any objective, you must first plow through a huge number of enemies.  You start off with a basic gun that has unlimited clip size and unlimited ammo, but scattered throughout the world are army supply boxes that contain everything from AKs to flamethrowers as well as exotic weaponry, such as grenade launchers or saw-blade flingers.  You can only carry one special weapon at a time and must be careful not to walk over another, as you will automatically pick it up and replace the one you have.  Though each weapon differs in its usage and characteristics, they all are a big upgrade over your stock pea-shooter.

To deal with groups of enemies, you can also fling grenades, which are tossed directly where your cursor is pointed.  Even more powerful are the character's special moves, which you charge up by collecting energy dropped from enemies.  You can use the move once it's charged; one move sends a massive bolt of energy in a particular direction.  These moves can take some finesse to use effectively, but they're certainly useful.

Overall, the preview build of Bunch of Heroes showed some promise as a simplistic shooter that feels like Smash TV if you were to marry it with a quirky zombie theme.  There's some disconnects in knowing what an objective needs you to do, but if they can be overcome, the game promises to be a decent excuse to dive into some old-school shooter gameplay with an entertaining theme.  Look for more information in the coming weeks to see how the final game shapes up.

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