Shoot 'em up titles on a 2D landscape are no stranger to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, with there being dozens of titles out there of a similar ilk. The objective is simple, you've got to shoot enemies until you're blue in the face and then shoot some more enemies for good measure. Shoot Many Robots also follows this premise and doesn't do a whole lot different. As some might say, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
After diving head-first into the campaign, you'll find there isn't much to it story wise. Not that it detracts much from the game. You play as P. Walter Tugnuts, a man who has been preparing for the robot apocalypse all his life. He comes complete with a trailer full of explosives, accessories, and, of course, guns. In many ways, he's very reminiscent of Woody Harrelson in 'Zombieland', but with more guns and less zombies. His only objective is to destroy very aggressive robots who have inhabited his little world. He travels from city to city in order to clear them out, using his RV as his home hub.
Starting out, Tugnuts is equipped with one submachine and one RPG. The submachine has unlimited ammo and is extremely useful against the smaller robots, while the RPG has limited ammo and is good for the bigger enemies who have a bit more armor. The two of them together make a really nice balance and aren't hard to use, although aiming is a bit odd -perhaps since they call it aiming when really you're just crouching. If you're not a fan these two weapons, they can both be exchanged for "higher level" ones, but only for a hefty sum of nuts that you've collected from destroyed robots.
Which brings us to customization. For a downloadable title, this game is jam-packed with dozens of things to customize your character with. Grenade launchers, flamethrowers, the choices are endless and it doesn't just stop with guns. You can choose from many different costume pieces as well. All of which can either help you or just make you look a bit more fashionable. If you want to be a Scotsman with a machine gun, it's possible. If you want to be a fairy princess with a flamethrower, that's also possible.
The customization also helps when playing co-op multiplayer since every player can have a specific class that they're responsible for which can make blasting through the title that much easier. The multiplayer does offer a lot to the game, but there isn't a proper notification system. Had this been in place, the whole concept would have been much more fluid.
The game layout is pretty basic. You go through a level and defeat a boss at the end. Checkpoints are placed throughout and in case you find yourself with low health, but you can always chug back a drink. It's nice that there are survival levels added to the mix, instead of the normal platforming ones all the time. These force you to last as long as you can, killing as many robots as possible. This is also where you can earn a ton of bolts since the level doesn't just end with one round of survival. Depending on how long you last, you could get through a dozen bonus levels before finally dying and moving on to the next platforming bit.
In terms of presentation, the title both succeeds and fails all at the same time. While the art style is particularly interesting it also detracts from the gameplay a bit. The color scheme is pretty harsh on the eyes and some of the environments are too bright making it hard to actually see what's going on. Having said that, the environment and art style really is fitting for the tone of the title.
For a title of this nature, the replay value is there. You can go through levels again in order to collect more bolts too get the items that you want - like a shark fin to help you move around faster with a better slide move.
Shoot Many Robots is a fun little downloadable title that plays very well. There's a solid amount of content and the customization options are aplenty. The multiplayer mode also offers a good way to utilize the character classes. However, the art style takes away from the gameplay a bit and makes it a bit hard to watch at times. While good, the multiplayer also isn't implemented as well as it could have been and unless you enjoy shooting many robots, the game might lose its appeal fairly quickly.
|Offers a ton of customization for a downloadable title.|
|Multiplayer offers a good way to utilise the different classes.|
|The switching between platforming and survival levels makes for nice variation.|
|The art style takes away from the gameplay.|
|Multiplayer isn't implemented as well as it could have been.|
|You have to really like destroying robots in order for this title to stay entertaining.|