So let's be clear: There is no farming or coin-clicking in Gunshine. It is simply a top-down shooter, and a cute one at that. While I soloed most of the time in the game, I was aided by the occasional extra player or rented NPC mercenary. What I found was a game that has a lot of potential, makes great use of Flash, and is a good amount of fun.
But I found plenty of issues as well. Join me past the cut and I'll tell you about it.
Graphically, the game works well. It's not trying to be anything more than it is. It's not attempting super-realistic graphics or flashy explosions. Instead, it's obvious the developers wanted to make a game that could run on many different devices and would remain a constant experience across all of them. The Flash-based client is always the same window size (which is sometimes a little aggravating) and the top-down perspective keeps lag low. I'm not a huge fan of Flash-based gameplay, mainly because of its ability to become sluggish and hog resources, but a lot of developers use it. At some point in the future I want to investigate the use of Flash and why developers choose to use it, but for now I usually enjoy the results.
"I went to my objectives, popped into battle with some pretty neat (and nicely animated) enemies, and got back to my quest giver generally without any hitches."
I went to my objectives, popped into battle with some pretty neat (and nicely animated) enemies, and got back to my quest giver generally without any hitches. Again, though, it took a little while for me to get used to the flow and logic behind some of the zones, but once I did, everything was pretty easy.
"I would like to see more major boss battles, with a lot of explosions, earlier on. The fights wouldn't have to be impossibly hard, just more dynamic than the rest of the game."
I would like to see more major boss battles, with a lot of explosions, earlier on. The fights wouldn't have to be impossibly hard, just more dynamic than the rest of the game. As it is right now, my experience was fun but felt like one continual, vanilla line. I loved the grenades and cool devices like shurikens that were easy to use and fun to watch... so give me a handful immediately. Let me dispatch my foes in much more spectacular ways.
I think perhaps I am a different type of gamer than Gunshine is meant for. If you are going to make a game that is based around slaughtering foes, make it feel more brutal. I know this game has it in it. The animators and artists have pulled out some pretty cool characters and animations, so I know the game could do so much more -- yes, even early on. So why not wow us right away?
Gunshine is fun, even cute, but it's a little confusing. Let's recap.
- Will run in any browser that supports Flash
- Easy to learn and fun to jump in and play
- If you have no friends in the game, you can rent NPCs to fight alongside you
- Variety of weapons and items
- Facebook connectivity for those who like that sort of thing
- Made in Flash, so some might see a performance hit
- Quest system and maps are confusing at first
- Not enough excitement early on
- Running is slow. Mounts please?
- Zoning is so 2004
- Items and mercs are too expensive at first
- Mercs do not last long enough, currently 10 minutes