A new direction for shooters.
Lately I feel like I am in the prime of the PSOne era. There seems to be a new shoot ‘em up on an almost weekly basis. Needless to say, this makes me happy. I grew up with games like Gradius and Lifeforce, and later graduated to the likes of Raystorm and R-Types on the PSOne. Now, a new resurgence has happened, and there is something new to play almost monthly. The latest is an indie title called Dogos, and it comes with a unique twist on the genre.
Dogos looks and feels like a normal shooter, but players are able to turn left and right during the level. While not wholly original, it definitely sets the game apart from other clones in the genre. Normal controls are present, as the left analog stick moves the ship up, down, left, and right, while the right analog stick turns the ship. It takes a bit to get used to, but after the game opens up, it really opens up the game play.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $5.99
The first level of the game sends players down a linear path to get accustomed to the controls, but once it opens up, the shooter takes on more of a limited open world feel. Objectives and enemies are marked on the map, but the player has freedom to tackle things in whatever order they see fit. It is an interesting twist on the established formula, and at first it works.
The problems arise in practice. Instead of shooting for scores like a traditional shooter, I felt bogged down by performing menial tasks over and over. It felt recycled, and stages were more of a chore than exciting.
The ship in Dogos comes with two standard attacks that can be upgraded throughout the course of the game. The main attack handles the airborne enemies, while the secondary is used for ground vehicles. Neither feels great thanks to the 360 degree movement. Spinning endlessly in circles to take down air enemies becomes hectic, while taking out ground enemies feels inaccurate at times. This is where the unique nature of the game actually hinders the game play. I felt more like I was chasing enemies, hoping for a lucky hit, than relying on my skills to dodge bullets.
Dogos looks good as well, although a lot of the assets are re-used throughout several levels. Enemy types are repetitious as well, but it does run extremely well. For a game of this type, that is crucial. The music feels like a standard mix of drum loops and synthesizers, but there are a few memorable tracks sprinkled in. Overall it is strong on presentation and performance, but light on diversity.
Overall, Dogos is a solid game that overcomplicates its genre roots with its unique twist. Production values are solid, but also bland when considering this is a game with little diversity in the game play. Those looking for a new shmup experience have far better options currently available on the platform.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.