Nuclear Throne is a roguelike, bullet hell shooter, with some RPG elements, however one could probably deduce that from the description. Vlambeer’s previous efforts to deliver a high-score based shooter, have failed to deliver on genuine replay value, and one could be done with them mere hours after purchase. Nuclear Throne is NOT that. You will be occupied for a long time after the purchase of Nuclear Throne, and will have your knowledge of the game tested, due to ever changing subtleties in the gameplay, level design and even themes as you progress. Be expecting a captivating experience for hundreds of hours after purchase, I know I’m only getting started!
The gameplay in Nuclear Throne is simple. Each character has a passive and active ability. These abilities keep one from sticking with a single character, and force one out of their comfort zone. This is helped by the fact that all the abilities are majorly balanced (except for the Chicken, which has recently been nerfed). I would call the gameplay a hybrid of Hotline Miami and The Binding of Isaac, however it is so much more. This is due to its immense gameplay depth. By this I mean, the game allows you to adapt the gameplay to your playstyle, and alter character’s unlockable abilities to synergies with one another, for example: A person could choose the “get more crates ability” along with the “Find more weapons ability” to have a greater likelihood of finding more guns, if that’s how he plays. Speaking of guns, the game has a wide selection of creative weaponry. These go from melee weapons, to hybrids of sniper rifles, shotguns and even fire. Even through the carnage of setting the whole screen ablaze with a flame shotgun, one can easily appreciate the game’s worthwhile arsenal. The difficulty pacing is very well handled, because at times I noticed the game was being as I wanted it to. If
The gameplay is made more enjoyable by the game’s extremely well designed aesthetics. The screen shakes like crazy, and enemies flash white and pause when hit, to give the game a punchier, more powerful feel. The pixel art style is good. Nothing of the art is so beautiful that it deserves commending, but it at least gets the job done well. Enemies all look good, and help make the “post fallout” theme really be in the core of the game at all times, always making you feel like the world around you is a desolated wasteland. My major complaint is that the size of the pixels, make it, sometimes, difficult to distinguish major pieces of information, like text, or even bullets. I still find it difficult to distinguish between a shotgun, and a pop gun.
Musically the game is fantastic. All music has a theme that corresponds to the environment where it is found, and it sounds great! Psychedelic vocals play in the sewers, and rap plays in Y.V.s pimped-out mansion. The actual sound design for all the weapons is fine. It doesn’t strive to do anything special, and sticks to the similar sounds found in most retro-shooters. FINAL THOUGHTS
In the unlikely event that you have read this far (please let me know in the comments if you have ☺), I would like to talk about the amazing job that the developers are doing. The game is in the dreaded “early access” stage, however the game right now is basically complete. Developers are constantly adding new content to keep the game fresh, and its getting kind of ridiculous! I’ve never seen such a passion for expanding the community (which is terrific by the way), and for that I respect Vlambeer, despite their shortcomings in Luftrausers. I STRONGLY recommend anybody interested in fun games purchases this game, because its well worth its price, even in early access, make no mistakes, this is one of the best retro shooters EVER, and I definitely wont be refunding this *wink wink* SCORE
A solid title, worthy of players with interests in any other genre, and content well worth the price. Just don't come in looking for a well developed multiplayer.