Cue Deep booming voice, “In a World,” cue normal voice, flooded with World War 1 and 2 shooters, Infinite State Games releases a WW2 styled shoot ’em up harking back to the halcyion days of Capcom’s 1942, but with a much more modern (but still slightly retro feel) aesthetic and style. While 1942 was a top down scrolling shoot ’em up, Rogue Aces is up, down, left, and right all at the same time. Keep your eyes peeled!
The old school feel also massively extends to the leaderboards, be it global or just friends, you’re driven to keep besting yourself and others, but at least today it will read dazbobaby at the top and not just DAZ.
I’d initially heard about Rogue Aces, more than a couple of years ago, (Wing Kings was the working title – InfiniteStates wanted to call it something like… Rogue Squadron, but seeing as George Lucas has a lot more money than him, he renamed it Rogue Aces), I actually know Charlie (InfiniteState Games) from the Sony PlayStation forums, then he became a member of a forum I created to allow for more mature posts (mess-hall.co.uk – gone forever 🙁 ), but still gaming and playstation related. We even met in person at Eurogamer a few years ago, and while it’s not a traditional friendship, we live hundreds of miles apart, I would consider Charlie a friend. I actually thought the concept sounded promising, and even the VERY early alpha gameplay looked promising.
You might be fooled into thinking that this is a copy of Luftrausers, it’s not, though the gameplay is a tiny bit similar, and both are about arial combat and war, the similarity ends there.
What you have here is a very well rounded, incredibly fun and challenging World War 2 shoot ’em up, that includes a campaign mode, an island hopping mode called Frontline, survival mode, and Hot Potato (these are the ones I’ve unlocked so far), and even more.
- Campaign: you have one life but 3 planes, keep going as long as you possibly can (hint theres a 100+ missions)
- Frontline: One plane and one life, but WHEN you die, you restart from the last island you took. There’s also mission timer, you have to get to the boss island and beat the final boss in a set amount of time.
- Hot Potato: your plane will explode in 8 seconds… get into another as soon as it does.
- Survival: one life, one plane… survive as long as possible (hint – hot potato)
When you intially start playing you’ll probably concentrate on shooting down other aircraft, these will also drop the occasional booster such as faster firing, more bombs, more rockets, faster turning, more powerful guns and so on, while you stay alive you keep these, and in frontline, you keep them until you run out of time. As you progress you’ll rank up, this allows you to unlock these boosters from the get go, and you’ll need them too. I did say it was challenging, oh yeah, it’s also roguelike, meaning when you run out of lives… you start all over again, but at least the ranking up and the unlocked boosters mean you’ll get to play for longer next time.
One of the things I really like about Rogue Aces is the hilarity, I’ve spent hours and hours playing and only a handful of times did I die and restart because I was shot down… no, I keep bloody crashing. And yet I never feel frustrated like many games leave you feeling. In fact I usually end up laughing at myself for doing something stupid 😀
The Campaign is fun and highly addictive in it’s own right, but Frontline is where I’ve spent most of my time, it’s damned hard, funny and utterly brilliant.
Imagine if you will an Angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other, and the demon just keeps whispering “one more game, do a little better, beat that score and best everyone else”, while the angel is saying “but you’re a brain surgeon, people will die if you don’t go to work”. All I can say is people will die, and scores will be beaten.
How can I score it? I know Charlie, but I can honestly say it’s worth a punt at £9.99 (PS+ see’s a 20% discount).
But to be honest, even if I had no association with Infinite State Games, and I hadn’t been provided a code (not for review, but from a friend) I think I’d still rate it 10/10, just look for my name on the top of the leaderboards, I didn’t get there by chance.
Here’s a playlist from InfiniteStates Games, showing the intital alpha test flights and on to actual finished gameplay. This is a treat really, nobody ever gets to see the first gameplay tests up to the finished product.