Nex Machina PS4 Review

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under PS4, Reviews & Features, PlayStation

Publisher: Housemarque  Developer: Housemarque  Genre: Action  

Players: 1-2  Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

Nex Machina probably wouldn’t exist if not for Eugene Jarvis’ Robotron, and Jarvis himself was even used as a creative consultant on the game. Not forgetting to mention that developer Housemarque were the people behind the game, who are famous for the likes of Super Stardust and Resogun, both of which were very well received twin-stick shooters, and also had gameplay mechanics which took inspiration from the likes of Asteroid, Defender, and Robotron.

Played from a top-down perspective, Nex Machina is a fast and frantic one or two player (local play) twin stick shooter. There are swarms of enemies and very busy screens to contend with, and also people to be saved in the same vein as Robotron. It’s a very smooth running game, and it also looks and sounds the business. It’s the kind of game that will have people coming back to it time and time again in an attempt to beat their previous best scores.

With all the on-screen fireworks and particle effects, this is one stunning looking game.

Nex Machina is a very simple game that is as pure and simple as those that came before it, but the execution is really quite masterful, and there’s also plenty of depth to be found for both those who want to merely survive as well as the high score chasers. Extra layers come in the dash move, which can save your life and allows you to dash against enemies and through barriers, and even earn you extra points at the end of each stage if timed correctly. There are also pick-ups to be found, which can help level the playing field when it’s you against an entire screen of enemies. Dying also restarts the stage, although you are able to retrieve the previous pick-up just as long as you don’t die again.

As for enemies, there’s a nice variation of them, and learning about their differing behaviours is one of the things that is required if you are wanting to get the most out of the game and to aim for those sky high final scores. Some enemies break up into more enemies, others move at you quickly, and some only appear very occasionally, but earn you a lot of points if you are able to destroy them before they leave the screen.

The lack of online play may irk some, although having another player beside you makes the game all the more fun. The extra firepower is always helpful as well.

The game only has five worlds for you to blast through, but as is the nature of games of this type, there’s plenty of replay value in besting your scores as well as the scores of others. Not only this though, but the game does have plenty of secrets for you to discover in the guise of hidden people to rescue as well as hidden routes for you to find.

The game hasn’t got a vast amount of modes to its name, but it does have four difficulty levels in the main arcade mode. It’s also possible to play a single world, and there’s an online arena mode, which is basically the game’s challenge mode, tasking you with everything from faster moving enemies to getting as high score as possible within four minutes. The fact that you can view the runs of others in every single mode just by heading to the leaderboards will also be appreciated by many, and might even help you out if you are wondering where you are going wrong in your own gameplay sessions.

Even without Eugene Jarvis’ help, I’m convinced that Nex Machina would have turned out just fine, but with the teaming up of a legend in the business as well as a developer that has rightfully earned its place in the gaming hall of fame, this is one very well made game that feels like a modern day version of the arcade game that inspired it, and it’s also one that just begs to be mastered. With everything said and done, this all means that Nex Machina is one very fun and special game.