Nex Machina is a twin-stick style shooter reminiscent of the old arcade bullet hell games. Set in a distant cablepunk future, it is a word where machines have gained sentience and are now the apex predators. Humans are now just a thorn on their sides and the machines seek to eradicate all traces of them in this wildly metallic world. As one of the few remaining humans, it is your task to rescue others of your race without falling to the might of the machines.
A Neon Future
If we have not evolved much from the eighties then Nex Machina could very well be the kind of future aesthetic that we would have. The game is seemingly like that of a puzzle, only one where the puzzle tends to attack you most of the time. Enemies range from not so harmless swarms to monstrous behemoths that would require your entire firepower (and dodging skills) to take down. Often, these enemies are complemented by static defense turrets that serve to slow you down, if not eliminate the player entirely.
The graphics for the most part are pleasing to the eye. It feels like a mix of both modern and retro, what with the neon aesthetics and all. Enemies explode in pleasing non-gory after effects and the weapon blasts are a sight to behold. Just make sure you do not get too caught up in scenery as that would very well be the end of your journey. The soundtrack is very eighties-inspired. Think of some science fiction films from the era and crank that up to eleven. Featuring some masterful electronica and synth effects, Nex Machina can immerse you in the world that it’s set in.
The gameplay is unsurprisingly blazingly fast and brutal and the player has to adjust with the increasing difficulty. As with any other bullet hell type of games, it can be chaotic but within the chaos lies some kind of elegance in this game. It takes some time to master the dodges and sprints that you can make as the game punishes you without abandon if you make a mistake. Firing your weapons at the right time could be the key to making explosive combos and would very well determine your survival. Players will also be able to discover secret areas and rescue survivors as objectives.
There are over a hundred levels of gameplay but with the right skills and mindset, a player can complete this in less than a couple of hours. There are four levels of difficulty which should keep you occupied and if you are an achievement hunter, that would increase the length too. The addition of a wave-based mode adds to the game’s longevity as well.