Assault Android Cactus Brings Bullet Hell To PS4, Vita

By Ryan Winslett 2013-08-25 13:22:40 discussion comments
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A lot of older genres are making a comeback these days. Bullet hell, for instance, is set to be revitalized on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita thanks to the curiously named Assault Android Cactus.

Once you know that one of the selectable characters is named Cactus, the game's name makes a heck of a lot more sense. Otherwise, my mental image of the game was waaay different from what it actually is.

A throwback to arcade classics, players take on the role of androids equipped with enough firepower to bring down an entire mechanized army. Officially announced at Gamescom last week, new details have since arisen on the PlayStation Blog, giving us a better idea of what to expect out of the upcoming PS4/Vita title.

According to artist and programmer Tim Dawson, Assault Android Cactus will sport more than 25 levels in its campaign, each overflowing with dozens of robot enemies, massive bosses and shiny bullets you'd be well-advised to avoid entirely.

According to Dawson, Cactus takes the familiar bullet hell formula and adds a few tweaks here and there.

“These androids are pretty tough. Getting knocked down clears their powerups, but they can get right back up again,” he explained. “The catch is they run on batter, and when that runs out, it's game over.”

Played like most other twin stick shooters on the PS4 and Vita, the left stick will guide your android while the right stick with fire their weapon. According to Dawson, the battery mechanic means that the player has to constantly be searching for additional power, meaning that the game can't really be played at a “casual” pace.

Dawson said that, just like bullet hell games of the past, Cactus was designed to be tough but fair.

“At first it's a buzz just to survive, but the heart of the game is finding ways to master stages,” he added. “And to do that you have to manage your score multipliers by keeping chains alive and shave precious seconds off your clear times.”

While the game takes its name from one of the androids, Cactus, there will be eight selectable characters, each with their own primary and secondary weapons. Figuring out which fighter best suits your stile or the given level is all part of the fun.

“Cactus, our heroine, is an all roundwer with a machine gun and flamethrower, while reluctant combatant Holly is great for beginners with a slightly weaker homing shot, but she is backing a cannonball launcher that decimate a line of enemies with a well aimed shot,” Dawson explained.

A release window hasn't been announced yet, but we're going to go out on a limb here and say that it will likely be sometime after the PS4 launches this November, as that's one of the two consoles the game has been built for.


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