Eliosi’s Hunt from TDZ Games is a new top-down shooter that just released for your PS4. Along with the obvious top-down shooting, they also mixed in some platforming elements. I think they were shooting for a Dead Nation / Alienation mixed with Jak and Daxter. That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Did TDZ Games hit their mark? Read on to find out.
You’ll play as an alien bounty hunter named Eliosi, who you can see from the early game cut scenes, doesn’t get the respect he feels he deserves. These cut scenes precede each level and feature no dialogue. That may sound strange, but in this case, it actually works well. It was the first sign for me that I was going to get much more than I expected for a PSN game with suggested retail price of $4.99.
If you’ve played any top-down shooters, you’ll know what to do: you control Eliosi with the left stick, aim with the right, and fire with the right trigger. The left trigger allows a boost that needs a few seconds to regenerate and is absolutely crucial in the tougher areas of the game. The platforming aspects are a welcome twist, although they don’t come without some problems. Chief among them is jumping from one platform to the next isn’t perfect. Controlling Eliosi in the air and knowing exactly where you are and where you’re going to land isn’t an exact science. Some of the blame for this could land at the feet of the graphics. While the graphics do look nice, and the colors are fairly crisp, they sometimes all blend together, making it difficult to differentiate the terrain. This caused a ton of deaths, and had me replaying sections over and over again, trying hard not to spike my trusty DS4 off the floor. In the heat of the battle, little stuff like the uncertainty of where the solid ground is gets magnified, and frankly, the game is tough enough as it is.
Seriously, I found the game to be quite hard. I guess they don’t call it a hardcore top-down action for nothing. It never takes more than a couple hits to kill you, and there seems to be multiple things on the screen trying to kill you at all times. From crazed, bloodthirsty aliens, to flaming craters under your feet. Thankfully, the checkpoints are plentiful, but death was always creeping just around the corner for me. There is no adjustable difficulty on Eliosi’s Hunt, so the only option is to “git gud”, as the kids would say. In this regard, Eliosi’s Hunt is amongst the growing trend of unforgiving video games that rewards perseverance and favors gamers with a penchant for sadism. I understand the feeling of accomplishment when you finish an overly hard video game, but how about the feeling of fun? This gamer spends most work days frustrated and working hard, and those aren’t my top two criteria for a video game. That being said, Eliosi’s Hunt isn’t “Dark Souls” hard. In fact, gamers more experienced in top-down shooters may find it just right, but for a casual top-down player like myself, an option to select a less frustrating mode would have been a nice addition.
There are five levels with their own distinct design, from swamps, to deserts to alien laboratories, to … well, you get the idea. At the end of each level is a boss, which is of course the bounty you are hunting. In between levels, you can purchase upgrades depending on how well you did on the previous level. There are also upgrades scattered throughout each level like jet packs and various weapons, although they are all temporary and most of them disappear before their benefits are clearly defined.
The five levels aren’t overly long, but there are multiple ways to complete most areas and if you find the game as difficult as I did, you’ll spend countless hours collecting your five bounties (unless you rage quit before then). If these top-down shooters are your bag, or if you’re just a better gamer than me, than Eliosi’s Hunt could be completed in around an hour. The genre mixing of platforming and top-down action was a valiant effort, but in the end, the failure to master either of them, is the problem. I enjoyed moments of the platforming and a lot of the shooting, but I wonder if they would have been better off perfecting one of the genres, instead of offering a mediocre version of both. Either way, for the low price of dirt cheap, you can bet you’ll get your money’s worth. It may not be for everyone, but top-down shooter fans who love a challenge should enjoy the hunt.
Eliosi's Hunt PS4 Review
Overall - Good - 6.2/10
Eliosi’s Hunt is both a Platformer and a Top Down shooter. The problem is, it is only average at both of them. Despite controls that aren’t as tight as they should be for a platformer, and the lack of more difficulty settings, at this bargain price, you can’t really go wrong.
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