Honestly, in most cases you might end up thinking it's better to just play with the AI - at least when you get a decent match.
It might seem like a harsh critique, as the game is at its core a PvP experience. But it feels like more could have been done to nurture new players. If you keep losing due to the ineptitude of your teammates, you'll just want to quit. Having said that, if you do actually manage to find a game where you get 3 people on each side who know what they're doing, things can be pretty fun.
Before each game starts, you have to choose which abilities you want to be able to use as the match progresses. You then use the in-game money to purchase and upgrade these abilities - there are no items. It's only possible to choose three abilities from each of the different categories, so there is still an element of customisation, but aside from the bottom tree, these are all unique to each character.
You'll be able to collect in-game currency through pick-ups and killing enemies. There is of course currency generated over time and there are health pick-ups in each of the levels, which are provided by neutral monsters.
Overall the gameplay holds up well, even if it is a little limited. Each of the champions has a basic attack and two complementary attacks. There are no ultimates or anything like that. Even though this is the case, there are still lots of different options for play styles, even with the same champions.
Where Awesomenauts excels is its art style and, to a degree, its lore. There aren't many other games that will see a cowboy summoning a virtual bull, that he then uses to ram a flying monkey into a turret. And due to the how it's presented, that all seems perfectly normal. The music does get a little bit annoying, especially the character themes and it's frustrating that they start playing once you get on a killing spree. Froggie G certainly is hip, but having to listen to his music... really isn't.
In terms of replay value, there are plenty of levels to go through, and as you get more experience, you'll unlock more abilities. It's also possible to play alongside a friend locally, which can be a hindrance or an aid depending on how you look at it. If you're paired up with two friends, neither of which knows what they're doing, you pretty much end up in a 1 vs 3 scenario. However, if the two friends are well versed, it becomes a massive asset.
Awesomenauts is a fun entry into the MOBA world, offering a 2D perspective, coupled with a rather zany art style. It's certainly not for the feint of heart though and its mandatory 3 vs 3 core can make the encounter rather frustrating. However, if you can look past this, and end up with some people who know what they're doing, Awesomenauts is great downloadable title.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Network.
|» Transitions to 2D well.|
|» Art style is pretty zany.|
|» If you get six people who know what they're doing, the experience is great.|
|» Small array of characters to choose from.|
|» One bad player and your team is very likely to lose.|
|» Music is rather annoying.|