Imagine DOOM and Borderlands had a baby, and that baby grew up to play volley ball on the dead or alive team, and in between volleyball tournaments that baby fragged demons in some post apocalyptic city of the damned. You might get something that looks a little bit like Dimension Drifter, an early access title from developer BlueEagle Productions currently available on Steam.
You are one of the most dangerous people in the world (according to the steam page description). Hundreds of years ago the time line collapsed allowing evil demons to jump between dimensions and wreak havoc on the unsuspecting citizens of the world.
You are one of the few very special people with extraordinary abilities to defend against the onslaught of this new evil. Yet, you are an outcast from the rest of the world, exiled outside the safety of the plasma dome created around the cities to keep them safe.
However, upon starting the game you will know none of that. There is no tutorial and no immediate back story. You will be faced only with 3 available missions and a data log that needs more intel to decrypt it. As you complete each mission in no particular order,you will unlock bits and pieces of information in the data log, slowly revealing the story as you go. This is referred to as “pen & paper RPG” story telling, and it felt slow and uninspired, especially when you play an entire level only to reveal an advertisement for a restaurant that appears to be serving human meat.
The game play is fast, smooth, and intuitive, that is to say there’s no learning curve. This leaves the game feeling very lack luster. The guns lack any recoil, the maps aren’t big enough to encounter any type of bullet drop, and the spread on the shot gun is so wide you hardly have to aim at all. Couple that with the fact that the character can spin con a dime, meaning you can be facing the camera and do a complete 180 to fire your weapon just by clicking the mouse. Now that’s not to say that Dimension Drifter isn’t fun. Sometimes running around and gunning down demons doesn’t have to be difficult, and if you find the game too easy there are 5 difficulty settings that seem to make the enemies faster, and more lethal. Special abilities allow you to dash around in short bursts, or slow time down in what the game refers to as “super reflexes”. This comes in handy as you climb higher in the levels and the enemies seem to spawn in larger and larger groups.
You will have to find colored key cards, lock picks, and activation switches scattered throughout the map to access certain areas. You’ll also find chests that may contain power ups or custom colors for your guns, and character model. Keep in mind that customization is limited in the early access build of Dimension Drifter, and not all customization were available at the time of this review. Power ups include body armor and gun improvements, as well as character modifiers to speed you up, or make certain ammo drops more prevalent in the game.
The graphical style in Dimension Drifters is colorful, bright, and cartoony. The female character looks great in her half pants half shorts, though the “bounce” in her step is a little over the top and makes the experience feel cheap. There are several types of enemies, however, each type is a clone of its self.
The levels are all randomly arranged with each new round, but this only proves to make the game feel more repetitive. Although the foot print of the map varies, the textures, and assets are all identical. Don’t expect to stumble across a secret hidden passage, or some beautiful green jungle full of sights and sounds. The next map is like the last map, just a different shape. Outside the game map seems a colorless wash of some immense city with no detail or visual aesthetic to draw your eye, and distract you from destroying the enemy in a flurry of bullets, and fountains of blood.