Star Horizon is a solid arcade action-shooter similar in vein to Star Fox, just don’t expect too much from its story as you’ll be disappointed.
Title: Star Horizon
Developer:No Gravity Games
Publisher: No Gravity Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (version reviewed)
Release Date: May 15, 2020
Star Horizon is an arcade-y spaceship sci-fi on-the-rails shooter by Polish developer Orbital Knights. This game is like a lenticular painting. Depending on where you stand it can be a completely different experience.
On one side we have the main part of the game. Flying around a shooting stuff. The game does this fairly well. And while it’s not exactly a graphical masterpiece and the enemies are so distant that I couldn’t even tell you what they look like, I’ll say that this game brought back memories of playing rail shooters in the arcades back in the day. It reminded me of those games that cost a few extra tokens to play but it was worth it cause you got to sit in a small booth and have a cinematic experience of sorts.
The controls are very much Star Fox. You’ll do barrel rolls, you’ll have a slight autoaim assist and you’ll have teammates letting you know exactly when you need to get someone off their six. If you played Star Fox you’ll know EXACTLY what you’re getting into here, with the exception of the fact that the game has absolutely no bosses. There’s larger ships and there’s moments of flying around ships and taking out turrets, but there’s nothing here like the cool boss battles of the SNES mainstay.
But if you want the feel of a solid arcade shooter, at under ten bucks you can’t really go wrong here. Unless you stand on the other angle of the painting which is the story.
The story really hurts the game. They attempted to get a little ambitious with the fact you can choose where the story goes but it doesn’t help when the story is so impossibly vanilla. Your character’s name is Joe. You’ll encounter a ton of exciting characters with names like Mark and Mike and Bill and anyone else you might encounter in the office.
The names of everything are also incredibly inspired from other things. There are two sides at war for control of the galaxy, stop me if you heard this one. In one corner you have a group that the game can’t seem to decide if it’s called the “InterGalactic Corporation” OR “The Federation”. They flip flop between the two names a lot and sometimes even change the spelling. It’s confusing. And in the other corner, you have, wait for it, “The Rebels”.
The final nail in the coffin with this game is the voice acting. If you told me that every line in the game was written on a separate 3×5 card and recorded on different days out of order I’d fully understand why the game sounds like this. I am not being hyperbolic when I say the only game I can compare the voice acting to is the original Resident Evil.
If you’re pulled in by the promise of an on-the-rails arcade shooter, you’ll definitely get that. If you’re pulled in by their promise of a story filled with absurdity and dark humor, you’ll be left incredibly disappointed as it comes down to characters calmly saying “what the…” and “are you kidding me” with the enthusiasm of a Siri device.
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