Dieselstormers: A Tale of Two Orks
For every misguided youth of the last century who grew up on a healthy diet of Nintendo and Sega, run and gun platformers like the ubiquitous Contra were a staple of multiplayer gaming. Long before the days of online first person shooters with dozens of players from around the globe, technologically primitive children like ourselves would gather around our ginormous radiation emitting square televisions, fighting each other for a chance to wield the controller next. Everybody’s household on a weekend was sort of like Lord of Flies, except we had to blow into cartridges before the mayhem could begin.Dieselstormers
, the latest effort from Black Forest Studios, is reminiscent of those old school multiplayer shooters of the past, but without the broken controllers (and friendships). Despite having just entered Early Access on Steam, Dieselstormers
is already quite polished for an alpha. Stylistically, the game stands out with a uniquely detailed art style and beautiful, colorful backgrounds. Weapons hit the various goblin enemies with a satisfying thud, and the controls are well executed with both keyboard and mouse and gamepad. Though a full featured single player campaign is already included, the real meat of the game is in the cooperative multiplayer experience, supporting up to four players at a time.
At the start of Dieselstormers
, the player is taken to a main area which houses both their main crafting inventory and the mission selection portal. The first weapon given is a weak, ineffectual pistol, but with the completion of each successful mission another gun part and crafting piece is unlocked. Missions are short, generally taking around 5-10 minutes to complete. Multiplayer progress carries over to single player, so players are free to jump between modes as they choose.
Intriguingly, in multiplayer, your character remains alive at “death”, though with diminished powers and barely the ability to push enemies back. Upon a player finding a health pick up, the deceased will be revived. What’s most interesting is that death is not necessarily the end if both players die, as long as some sort of health can be found.
Of course, it must be remembered the game is early access and is still a bit buggy at the moment. During our multiplayer sessions, we had a few crashes and a bit of slowdown, but considering that this is an early alpha, the game shows great promise. Despite the minor issues we encountered, we found Dieselstormers
to be quite enjoyable.
For the adventurous, the developers allow work in progress levels to be toggled in the options menu, what they call “construction site mode”. As the developers jokingly proclaim on the options page, “unfinished content can look like an ork’s backside and play like its underpants. You have been warned.” It’s nice to see a developer with a sense of humor, and of course Dieselstormers
plays quite well, even in its early state. Of course, it’s not Black Forest Games’ first foray into the platformer genre, having developed the recent Giana Sisters titles. Expect Dieselstormers
to only improve as time goes on.Dieselstormers
succeeds in bringing back that old school platformer vibe, and is the kind of game you can play over and over again with your friends, whether it be in bite sized sessions or for hours on end. Pick up one copy, or grab four for some intense side scrolling co-op action. It is available for Early Access purchase on Steam
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