Monday, February 22, 2016

Awesomenauts - 2/20 hours

Awesomenauts looks great. The bright and colorful graphics look like they were based off a really amazing Saturday morning cartoon. The characters have a bunch of cute little details with their costumes and animation that make them interesting to watch. The intro movie and the tutorial cut-scene are fun in a nonsensical over-the-top way.

It would have been really cool if Awesomenauts had a story mode. As it is, as a MOBA, it's basically the same 20 minutes over and over again. I'm not super-worried about it, because those 20 minutes are pretty entertaining. You take one of the adorably-designed characters and get into a huge 3 vs 3 brawl. The goal of each match is to fight your way through the enemy characters to get to their base  and then smash the hell out of it. Along the way you buy upgrades to improve your character's abilities.

I think the idea is that this is one of those "easy to learn, impossible to master" situations, where you can play repeatedly with the exact same setup because the nuances of each match, the particular circumstances that you find yourself in and the choices made by your enemies, will require different responses in order to maximize your chance of victory. That's where the multiplayer comes in. As you get better, so does your opposition, so there's never a time when the game becomes trivial. It will always be as devious as the human mind.

I guess that means I should give multiplayer a try sooner or later. I'll admit, I kind of  dread it. What if everyone I play with is better than me, and not just by a little, but by a lot? Losing bums me out, but that's not really what worries me. Awesomenauts is both a competitive game and a team game, so if it turns out that I'm no good, then I'll not only be failing, I'll be letting the team down. I mean, sure, the stakes are low, but I'd nonetheless feel guilty about ruining someone's spare 20 minutes.

I know that's being neurotic, and that there are probably so many fellow newbs out there that we could form a whole league and never even see an advanced player, and even if there weren't, I'm sure that I'd be much more likely to run into a patient and welcoming group of players than a bunch of assholes who take the game way too seriously. But it's not like playing bot battles is some sort of video game equivalent to being banished to the cornfield. I enjoyed my six or seven matches thus far and could probably easily play 20 or 30 more.

In summary - I should make the effort to be more social, and thus I've penciled in a multiplayer session for after I get off work tomorrow, but since multiplayer doesn't let you pause, I will stick with bot battles for when I play at work tonight, and I probably won't have any problems with that.

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