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Not A Hero

There are some video games that excel at treading that fine line between “I’ve GOTTA play just ONE MORE LEVEL because this is FANTASTIC” and “I’m going to take this controller, run it over with my car, gather up the pieces, smash them into smaller pieces with an old, ugly hammer, gather up the smaller pieces, stuff them into a sack, and then throw that sack off a bridge” – Not A Hero is one of those games.

For those unfamiliar, Not A Hero by Roll7 is a very-fast-paced, sometimes panicky, side-scrolling blast-em-up that casts you as one of several unlockable characters who are working for a bunnyman named Bunnylord who’s ONLY RUNNING FOR MAYOR, people. The better you do at shooting bad guys and blowing things up, the higher his approval rating climbs.

The story side is very funny and well-written, to be sure. Here’s snippet of Bunnylord giving a pre-mission pep-talk from his podium, which will give you an idea about the type of amusing and ever-changing nonsense he says:

That ever-changing bit up there, by the way, refers to the fact that the story parts are randomized somewhat – watch the same cutscene twice, and you’ll notice some differences, including what accessories Bunnylord is sporting and which words he uses. It adds a nice layer of bizarrity to the whole thing.

It’s in the levels, though, the game really shines: it’s an addicting run-n-gunner with cover that’s a lot of fun, very bloody and mouthy, and blasts your eyes with a unique, colourful and pixely look while occasionally – and hesitantly – doling out a sense of achievement.

It plays well and fast, each character has different attributes (speed, ammo, some of them – like the guy below – can knock doors off their hinges and send them careening across the room to smush bad guys), and it’ll push you, especially if you’re looking to nab the best rating on each of the levels by completing the optional objectives, be they planting bombs or rescuing parrots.

Here’s some (bloody) gameplay I captured earlier:

I should note that video was taken on an early level using a late-game character, so it looks much easier than it is.

And everyone? Confession time: I am terrible at this game. I’ve reached the elusive-to-me final level, but only after about 100 failed attempts at the one before. There’s also some DLC – however, based on my performance in the main game, to say I’m apprehensive over undertaking those extra levels is an understatement.

If you like this one, I should point out that there are a bunch of Devolver Digital (they’re the publisher) games on sale on Steam this weekend – it’ll be worth perusing the sale page.

On a sidenote, anyone have any recommendations as far as gameplay recording software? I’m trying some different options out (hence the Bandicam watermark) – any thoughts on which is worth forking over some cash for?

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