A Blast from the Past
Played on: PC
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-4160 CPU @ 3.60GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
RAM: 8.0 GB
OS: Windows 7 64bit
What I've played:
Finished the game 3 times on all difficulties
Initial playthrough at 6 hours and succeeding playthroughs averaging 3 hours
17 hours spent
A Ticket to Ride
Save for a few minutes spent introducing you to its dingy, dystopian world, Tower 57 takes you right into the action, confidently showing off its gameplay. You start out on a train to Tower 57, one of the Megatowers that exists in this world and just so happens to be the focus of the story. There you, as an agent, are tasked with investigating the structure. After your ride, you're greeted by the hustle and bustle of the train station. The retro aesthetics and music of this world complement one another and set the tone for fun times ahead.
After getting used to the gameplay, you’ll be introduced to your chosen character's weapon of choice. The shooting feels amazing, and that's a good thing, too, considering how much of it you'll be doing. With 6 characters to choose from and an excellent choice of guns to pair with, Tower 57 isn’t lacking in variety.
The art style and setting look and feel good, giving a nostalgic feeling as well as satisfying that shoot-'em-up itch. The controls and movement are fast and snappy, and the combat is also satisfyingly fun.
It'll Cost You An Arm and a Leg
Another aspect you'll soon get acquainted with is dismemberment, and not the fun sort. You'll have to watch out for enemies that can and will dismember you, specifically your arms and legs. This leads to a cool game mechanic where you’ll be put in a disadvantaged state if an enemy maims you. Fear not, however, for you can always replace your limbs with new ones from the conveniently placed terminals (for a price, of course). What's more fun is that if you happen to be playing with another person via co-op, the other guy can carry you on his or her back if you lose your legs.
When you do finally get into the Tower, you'll be overwhelmed with its neon lights and cyberpunk ambiance as you set off exploring the place. This small hub will be your area for rest, restocking, and gambling. The Bar in particular is a great place to gamble for cash if you're missing a few coins to get that upgrade for your shotgun. The mini-games that are in the bar are interesting, but only up to a certain point. They may not hold your attention for too long as well, an underlying problem that makes itself apparent further into the game.
You will definitely want to upgrade yourself and your weapons, and the only way to do that is with in-game credits. The unfortunate truth is that there's never enough cash to let you freely experiment with your different guns' upgrade systems, which is a real shame. Though maxing out all of your weapons for each character is theoretically possible, doing so would be tedious, especially considering how much time you'd have to spend just in the Bar instead of shooting up enemies.
A Short Fuse and Loud Bang
Tower 57 takes you on a fast and wild ride with its retro-styled shooter, one that boasts a large repertoire of guns and a symphony of destruction. The pixel art, and general aesthetic design of the world and setting are all very much to my liking. Gameplay-wise, it’s a great shoot 'em up that's a lot of fun to play. But there are a couple of things that irked me a bit and kept me from playing through the campaign multiple times.
Minor bugs came up on the Steam version of the game, all of which were fixable by restarting the game. That said, it’s quite frustrating if a bug halts your progress when you're in the middle of a gaming session. Playing alone may get stale at times, but it is indeed nice that co-op is an option. The campaign, in my opinion, was rather short; finishing the game left me wanting more - more characters, guns, levels, enemies, NPCs, mini-games, and just about everything, really. I wanted more.
The game is definitely being polished constantly, though, as was made apparent with a recent update that allows you to switch characters with a special meter on the fly, and I would definitely want to see more updates to the game in the future. Despite the minor issues I've had, Tower 57 is definitely one of the games I'd love to play again with a friend. It’d definitely be a good addition to your collection of co-op games.
Tower 57 is now available on Steam.
- A nice retro game feel
- Shooting feels nice and fun
- Co-op mode
- Minor Bugs
- A Short game
- Lack of replay value
[This review is based on a PC review copy provided by the publisher 11 Bit Studios.]