Titan Attacks (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gareth F 02.08.2014

Review for Titan Attacks on PlayStation 4

If there was ever a videogame equivalent of the popular genealogy based BBC light entertainment show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' the resident experts would have a field day with Titan Attacks. Upon first glance it looks like the next logical step in the evolution of the 'Invaders' family tree but digging a bit deeper reveals recognisable traces of numerous coin-op classics spliced into its DNA, with a knowing nod and a tip of the hat to such luminaries as Centipede, Missile Command and Asteroids. If it's possible to imagine what the third generation of offspring from an unholy union between a Space Invaders cabinet and a Galaxians machine would be like, then it's safe to say that Titan Attacks would be a fairly close approximation. Space Invaders itself was a massive deal when it first descended into existence back in what is often referred to as the 'Golden Age' of videogames, and whilst it spawned many imitators at the time, it will always be respectfully referred to as the original. Any games caught riffing off its mechanics are automatically labelled as an 'Invaders clone,' so as a game that has this very declaration tattooed right across its blocky forehead, what does Titan Attacks offer the gamer in search of kicks from the oldest of the old school?

Well, Titan Attacks does a pretty good job of fleshing out the admittedly stale gameplay of the original Space Invaders formula by injecting the proceedings with a heavy dose of retro-infused steroids, beefing up the action considerably in the process. Where Space Invaders had said invaders creeping downwards in a ploddy, predictable left / right crawling motion, Titan Attacks will sprint from relatively unpredictable directions - at high speed - whilst blatantly flaunting the 'no running with scissors' rule. Variety is key here as every few levels the player gets introduced to a new breed of alien ship with its own unique flight path that might be easy enough to deal with individually, but when they start to team up with the other ships to co-ordinate and combine their swooping attacks, the difficulty level slowly starts to ramp creep up. In keeping with the classic elements of the genre, it is heart warming to see that the flying saucer is still gainfully employed and can occasionally be spotted speeding across the top of the screen, presumably taking care of important alien business. Successfully taking this bonus-laden hooligan out of play results in a random item dropping out of the sky, which can range from a Super-gun (no further description required), a Super-shield (no further description required), bonus points (meh) or cold hard cash!

Screenshot for Titan Attacks on PlayStation 4

Yes, the unexpected appearance of money in the mix spices up the proceedings somewhat as each vanquished alien results in a monetary reward wired directly into the players' in-game bank account. These earnings can be spent on upgrading the ship in a bid towards making the task at hand a little easier and options such as more powerful / frequent bullets, increased cool down times of auxiliary weaponry, and additional gun extensions are necessary for those intending to progress to the later stages of the game. Whilst continuously topping up the shields (lives) is tempting, it makes far more sense to channel earnings towards levelling up the available firepower before the action gets too frantic as relying too long on the bog standard weaponry will only serve to hinder progress in the long run. Occasionally, one of the aliens will parachute out of its doomed ship in a bid for freedom, giving the player an additional chance to add to their revenue stream, though more often than not a stray bullet will kill that earning opportunity ... lousy bullets. Capturing the illegal alien, however, yields a nice cash bonus towards the 'pimp my spaceship' fund but conversely, in a move that will surprise absolutely nobody, a hefty fine to all who fail to prevent his escape. The shop keeps fairly regular hours by opening for business between each wave and for the most part and, like a cruel game show, it just serves to remind the player what could have been won ... until, of course, enough loot has been amassed for the next upgrade.

Titan Attacks has a grand total of a 100 different levels to fight through and, as well as getting the occasional bonus section that involves taking potshots at saucers zipping around the screen at high speed, the player will also be pitted against a Titan every 20 levels for a boss battle. The Titans themselves are basically very large alien craft that specialise in erratic, unpredictable movement, accompanied by a constant stream of southbound ordnance with no other purpose in mind than to ruin the player's day. Bizarrely, the second Titan encounter proved to be the most troublesome of the bunch as its low-level hovering made its defences a lot tougher to crack and, in comparison, the other Titans were fairly easy prey. In theory, there's quite a lot of game to get through here, yet the reality is that due to the string of weaponry upgrades collected during the natural progression through the levels, it gets a whole lot easier. By the time that the final boss has been defeated and the game has looped back to the start, the gamer's ship will be so powerful that any enemy artillery with murderous thoughts on their one track minds will be decimated like a hot knife through butter.

Screenshot for Titan Attacks on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Titan Attacks is a competent shooter and fun little diversion that makes for an excellent palate cleanser between playing some of the bigger budget retail releases. Alas, longevity is the enemy of every single game in existence, and whilst some weather this affliction better than others, a few solid hours of play reveals everything that Titan Attacks has to offer. Once those 100 levels have been conquered and the final Titan humbled, there's very little reason to fire the game up again other than the occasional mindless blast, which can be extended to infinity on account of the fact that the only thing left to spend all that amassed cash on is additional lives. It's also unfortunate that at this particular moment in time near enough every retro flavoured shooter that hits the market will inevitably get compared to Resogun, which has set the bar incredibly high.

Developer

Puppy

Publisher

Curve

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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