Platforms: PS4, PC
Reviewed On: PS4
Developer: Witch Beam
Publisher: Witch Beam
Release Date: 8 March 2016
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Assault Android Cactus is an intense twin-stick shooter with a rather exhilarating experience in store. It takes you by the hand and throws you into the chaos of the game. What it lacks in visuals, it makes up for in every other aspect, from its shooting to its great combat and boss fights. Assault Android Cactus is a fantastic arcade game that is best played with friends.
You choose from 8 playable characters, each with their own weapons and secondary fire. They set out to take down the waves of thousands of robots which are hell-bent on destroying them. There are different types robots which are constantly being introduced and change the way you play the game. Some tether you to a certain spot, some pack powerful lasers, and some are just really weak and help keep your combo system up. As you go about a level, you will shoot with R2, and use your secondary fire with L2. Shooting your primary weapon does not run out of ammo, but your secondary weapon (L2) relies on a cooldown to shoot. At first you will never use your secondary fire, but as the game’s difficulty intensifies, it will be the difference between life and death.
Each character is very different. Each has their own weapon and attack style. Some of them you will never use. I hated Aubergine. She uses her companion robot to send out a slice attack in the distance, and at times I felt that she was extremely underpowered and difficult to get the hang of.
Each character has a unique weapon set like a spread shot, homing bullets, and a laser beam. As much as they all are supposed to have their own play style, it all kind of boils down to how quickly you can dodge and take down hordes of enemies. Running in circles and avoiding enemy fire is the same with each character, regardless of weapons, and the majority of the game is exactly that.
While in combat you also get pickups which range from robot drones spawning on your side to help mow down enemies, to a pickup that lets you sprint super-fast to get around quicker. Enemies also drop batteries which are vital to survival, as once your battery depletes you are dead.
What makes Assault Android Cactus so thrilling is its intense, yet causal approach to arena twin stick shooting. I never felt that the game was ruthless on difficulty, nor did I think it was a walk in the park. The game is really fun to play with friends too as the 4-player co-op is pretty intense; 4 times the bullets and 4 times the enemies. There are also a ton of unlockables to get in the game if you are a competitive gamer.
Assault Android Cactus is a polished shooter with the potential to go onto greater things. It has the makings of a fantastic couch co-op game, with an arcade appeal for a pickup and play experience without getting into any sort of storyline. You just play a few levels and come back tomorrow for a few more. We have not played a twin-stick shooter this great in a long time.