We Dive Into Witch Beam’s Brilliant Twin-Stick Shooter – Assault Android Cactus
Having tried the Steam Early Access version of Witch Beam‘s Assault Android Cactus I felt like I had to share my opinion on it. And no, don’t let the name confuse you, no cactus plants were harmed in the making of the game. The title had me giggling at first and the mere 300 megabytes of disk space required for the game had me very sceptical, but don’t let that fool you, once you launch the game all of your doubts will be swept away in a hail of gunfire. (granted, you’re into this genre of games).
The game does a good job of telling a short story – who you are and what you are about to do, you’re an assault android sent to the “Genki Star” to terminate a bunch of rogue robots. A quick tutorial later and you’ll have wave after wave of an unending horde of robots falling left and right from a barrage of bullets, rockets and other futuristic weaponry that is at your disposal. You’ll have a selection of androids to choose from, all with their own unique weapons and play style, plus you can team up with your buddies for a great co-op experience.
I’ve got to say, the game had me hooked from the first level, its dynamic, very fluid and most importantly, very fun! The graphics were amazing for such a small game, the lighting, particle effects, character models and animations – it all simply fits together well for a crisp, pleasing image. The amount of enemies on the screen at once is wonderfully bewildering, yet there were no dropped frames even on my weaker PC. The sound also deserves mentioning, the effects and the music were done just right and were definitely a big part of the atmosphere that made me enjoy the game so much. Controls are also very smooth. It doesn’t matter which layout you choose, the mouse and keyboard or gamepad setups work great.
I’ve spent hours playing through the levels available at this time and found that some androids were better for certain levels than others, at least the way I played them. The regular levels and bosses were challenging enough that I didn’t breeze through them even though I’m very familiar with the genre, but I wasn’t stuck for too long either. The integrated leaderboards had me itching to play the level again and again. I’d often contemplate using a different android or tactic to see if I could get a higher score, which is exactly what I think the developers at Witch Beam were trying to do.
I’m very glad that the game got through on Steam Greenlight and I can’t wait for the final release of this brilliant twin stick shoot’em up. With the game releasing on PlayStation 4 as well as PC, it will definitely become a gem after a bit of polishing.