There’s certainly quite a few things amiss with Genetic Disaster.
A top down twin stick shooter is by no means unique,when it comes down to titles on the Nintendo handheld.So,to sell and become relevant in the field,is really quite a task from the word go…
Things start off well. You are tasked with simply picking a character from a number of odd and varied types with specific abilities from a small list.With up to 4 players(Co Op) able to match up in either main mode or a shorter party based mini game mode.
Players pick a difficulty and are then transported into a dungeon type setting,and given the option of choosing one of two random weapons from crates.Then it’s out exploring and where you are then tasked with finding vials of genetic green goo and exiting the dungeon levels with vials and life intact.This green genetic material vital for evolving your character and certain weapon types,should you survive!
Naturally,there’s plenty of enemies out to blast you to pieces on the way. As you progress through each dungeon room,there’s crates to find containing items,extra ammo and extra health bottles. Dead enemies can also drop coins, which can be collected to spend on items in a shop area between levels or certain special dungeon rooms if you’re lucky to find one.
Procedurally generated each playthrough,there’s an element of blind luck to how difficult your run through can be,but fans of Enter the Gungeon/Binding of Issac will most certainly be accustomed and familiar to how it all plays out.
After several playthroughs, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s issues here.
The set camera immediately zooms away in the weapon select room,making it quite difficult to read what weapon you’re choosing.
Advancing through the dungeon,the enemies suddenly materialise and the camera moves too far away,making it just a touch too difficult to see enemies fire advancing towards you.
Then in areas of no enemies,the camera tends to move in too close and with no option to change it in the settings,it quickly irritates!
Weapons are varied and range from pistols,homing pistols,shotguns/blasters and flamethrowers. It’s just a shame that they appear to be underpowered.Have horrendously long reload times and seem similar in a world of numerous enemies and where ammo supplies are short but critical.
One other point I found was when I changed weapon in between dungeons.As I advanced with new weapon,I was finding ammo drops for my previous weapon and with ammo in short supply,it left me needlessly exposed unnecessarily and counting on either avoiding enemies until I found the relevant ammo crate or melee my way through.
Overall,the game is visually pretty impressive.Locations and characters are detailed and colourful enough and battles are intense affairs.That is until the camera moves away and ruins the experience.
The difficulty setting (even on easy)is still too high with multiple enemies spawning and such drastically underpowered weaponry to take them down but above all that,is the very lack of explanation and no help in what exactly you have to do!?
Permadeath means you lose the vials you’ve collected but how many dungeons do you have to complete to keep them? and where to use them?
After many hours,I’m still clueless..
So if you’re looking for an “hard as nails” twin stick shooter that puts your brain into the “twilight zone”,then this may be for you..
For everyone else…Genetic Disaster,could well have the answer in its title.
Thanks to Drageus Games for the code