Developer Illfonic has gradually made a name for himself in licensed multiplayer games, such as Friday the 13th: The Game and Predator: Hunting Grounds. But the studio hasn’t made anything really noticeable yet. Arcadegeddon is a state-of-the-art effort that doesn’t appeal to the famous movie franchise, but it’s probably the team’s best effort so far.
It’s a third-person shooter that you can play alone or in collaboration, with both Rogue Light Adventure mode to follow and competitive multiplayer. Mega-corporation Fun Fun Co. is absorbing an independent arcade in the game’s futuristic city, with Gilly’s standing at the end. The owner creates the famous Arcadegeddon, a supercharged game to engage the business, but it’s getting the attention of the FFC. If you install the virus in the game and take over the virus, you and up to 3 companions can join the game, fight the bad guys and save the arcade.
This is a simple premise, it doesn’t get in the way right away and you can get the game going properly. Basically, the loop blows up as many stages as possible before losing all health. Each attempt rewards you with some XP and tickets. The former is aimed at improving the character’s level, and the latter is the currency used to purchase cosmetics. Back in the hub, you can customize your avatar, buy costumes, and boost yourself with passive buffs and special abilities. Then you go again.
That’s the point, but there are a few more. By using it, each weapon also gains XP. This is important. Weapons that have been leveled up at least once can be selected as part of the starting loadout. So, in the end, you can start running with all your favorite boom sticks. As you level up your weapons, your basic rarity will increase further and each grade will become more powerful, so you will slowly be equipped with super-powerful equipment to advance to later levels.
In addition, gang members hang out in Gillies, and if you can complete their challenge, you can recruit them and their followers for arcade-saving purposes. The conversation is a bit offensive, but these additional tasks give you something else to think about when you’re blasting your robot. You can also earn power tokens and other rewards by completing the robot. It’s quite valuable as you’ll need a power token to unlock plugins (privileges) and surge abilities (special moves).
This all sounds like a busy job, but while playing, everything comes together pretty naturally. The good news is that the action itself is really strong. The gun is easy to use, and the feedback from the presentation and the tactile sensation of Dual Sense make the bad guys happy. The type of weapon is also good. Most are based on the typical gun type, but are often confused with the effect of the element. For example, an electric round is great for crowds because the electricity arcs between them, but peppering an enemy with a bullet of fire builds a burn effect. It’s fun to explore the arsenal and find your favorites, but some are definitely better than others. They are reasonably balanced, but we often avoid icy guns. Freezing an enemy hard doesn’t seem to help more than just killing it.
Core shooters are fun, but enemies are constantly emerging and you have a purpose to achieve, so there’s little reason to hang out. The game takes you forward with simple tasks such as capturing spots in the map, destroying glitches, and finding keys and their respective locks. As with the order of the environment, loot drops, and other aspects, the targets you receive are randomly generated. In the middle of the stage, there is a shop where you can use the collected coins for new weapons and buffs. If you feel dangerous, you can increase the difficulty manually. Difficulty increases automatically for each level. The goal is fine and usually completes quickly, but repeats frequently. Having to dodge enemies as you go will at least keep you on your toes, but a slightly more diverse task would be nice.
Optional boss battles occur from time to time and unlock after building the meter. They can be very tough, but as you get through they will reward you brilliantly and help disrupt your pace. Also, as soon as you defeat them, you will move on to the next stage and act as a kind of shortcut. We have fought four bosses. They are a decent fight, but nothing spectacular and the difficulty is quite different. The CEO is frank, but couldn’t understand FFC Mech.
Visually, Arcadegeddon is very stylized, with a colorful and diverse environment, Osmosis Jones.. It looks good, but it’s not great. All effects and flashing lights can be visually noisy and some text is too small to read. The same is true for soundscapes. Sounds from enemies warn of their presence, but they very often blend into intense music. All of this can be a bit tricky when combined with occasional bugs and performance issues.
Fortunately, when you play with others, you forget some of the shortcomings of the game. It feels like it’s made primarily for cooperation, some support weapons are only useful while playing in groups. Interestingly, there is also a booth in the midfield shop area where you can launch a sort of mini-game if you’re not playing solo. These are very simple — small team deathmatches, floor collapses, and other haste activities. They successfully divide the main attraction and reward you for winning with more loot. Dedicated PvP mode folds these short rounds into more traditional actions. It’s about what you expect, and a solid shootout means it’s fun enough, but it’s clear that the main attraction is adventure mode.
Arcadegeddon is Illfonic’s most balanced multiplayer title to date and keeps you moving with a fun and engaging core and fast-paced gameplay. Its rogue light elements are unobtrusive and are the perfect game to relax with one or two friends. You can remove or leave fluff around the characters and cosmetics that are often forgotten. Certainly there are one or two rough edges. Still, it’s worth a bit of fun to join this solid third-person shooter.