Awesomenauts brings the action of a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), normally only found on PCs, to the console. With the nostalgia of an 80s cartoon and the charm of a 2D brawler, Ronimo Games have made this title very user friendly without removing the strategy elements. It has a lot to offer players and can be a good starting point for those new to the MOBA genre.
The game play is quite simple and like every other MOBA out there. A team of three people need to push their droids into their opponents base while keeping the opposite team from doing exactly the same thing to them. One of the great joys, unlike many other games in this genre, is that your team mates can be on the couch next to you.
Taking a MOBA style game and making it a 2D side scroller had to have been a monumental task, but Ronimo Games have executed this feat well and it really shows in the game play. Even before the round begins, there is no shortage of strategies and tactics to consider due to the amount of customization and meta game on offer. The amount that you can customize your play style doesn’t overwhelm either. All customization is chosen before players are thrust into combat so time is not wasted during the action figuring out what works best.
Each character is unique and plays completely different from the rest, a breath of fresh air to the genre. Every character is extremely balanced and has counter measures to deal with all the other characters. They do fall into some of the common roles found within MOBA style games, but each one has its own feel and tactics.
As mentioned above, your team mates can be on the couch next to you. This means that split screen is an option and almost an advantage as people can call out orders and alert the other team quickly. When a player drops out for whatever reason, they are replaced with a bot until another player joins. This unique drop in/drop out feature helps keep games running and balanced.
Even when the game is split screen the graphics are bold, bright and very crisp. The game has a deep 80s cartoon feel from the color pallet to the backgrounds, and I never got tired of looking at what’s on the screen because of the many bright contrasts on offer.
I do have an issue with the AI when it takes control of a character. After playing for a while, a pattern emerges in how each Bot version of the characters plays. They don’t use some abilities, which can gimp your team a bit, and they build up in a specific way so countering them becomes easy and predictable. They are nice because when a person rage quits you aren’t missing a player, but nothing is better than having a team stocked with human players.
Things can be a bit frustrating to someone just starting out in the game due to this drop in/drop out mechanic, as a new player can end up in a game with players that have quite a bit more experience. After a few hours playing you should have unlocks that will keep things on par with everyone else, but until then don’t be upset that you are getting decimated.
Another problem I noticed while playing was a strange bug that would disconnect me from the game and shoot me back to the main menu. It doesn’t do it all the time, and a few of my friends have never witnessed the bug, but it does take a bit away from the game.
You should have already purchased this! It’s a fun pick up and play game that deserves your attention. DLC has already been mentioned and is in the pipe line. Gets some buddies together, grab a few cold drinks and enjoy every last drop of this game. Whether you love MOBA style games, or you want to cut your teeth into the genre, this is a game for you.