Nex Machina from Housemarque is another stellar title to their catalog of games on the PlayStation 4 and PC. Nex Machina is twin-stick shooting at its’ best.
Housemarque has a history of making great games and Nex Machina is no exception. Nex Machina is a twin-stick shooter which will seem very familiar if you were at the launch of the Playstation 4 with Resogun.
Nex Machina is wild and a lot of fun but also engaging and very challenging in a good way. The player takes control of a small little soldier and goes from platform to platform destroying every alien ship in sight. The game-play isn’t unlike other twin-stick shooters, but finding that balance is something many developers fail to achieve.
When you combine the power-ups like a spread shot from Contra and a sweet super powerful laser that rips through everything, you get a balance from Nex Machina that is satisfying and most importantly fun. The control can’t be understated how tight and smooth it feels. There is a dash that can be performed with a shoulder button and it becomes insanely important to master. The dash takes the gameplay to a new level for me personally. Being able to dash to not only get away quickly, but the ability to use the dash to get out of situations without taking damage is a nice touch.
The level design of Nex Machina keeps every level fresh and new.
The level designs are pretty neat as well in Nex Machina. Each platform only takes a minute or so to complete. But there are a lot of platforms over the course of each level. Once the last enemy has been destroyed the player automatically flies to the next platform to repeat the destruction. While the destruction is going on there are also humans to save from the evil aliens. All the player must do is touch the human before they are killed, and by saving a human you get a nice point boost.
There are hidden paths and hidden humans on some of the platforms as well. So exploring and destroying everything on each platform becomes essential to getting the highest score possible.
The gameplay is very similar to Resogun in terms of the goal, but putting the perspective to an isometric changes things up. Nex Machina feels more fun to me than Resogun due to the change in control of 360 degrees.
Nex Machina offers a great presentation on the PlayStation 4 and offers an even sharper image on PlayStation 4 Pro. Along with a rock solid 60 frames per second frame rate.
Nex Machina offers a good presentation as well. Running at 60 frames per second on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro is great. The frame rate never drops even for a second. Which is a must for any twin-stick shooter that needs precise controls. I played Nex Machina on the PS4 Pro and the picture quality is very good and sharp. On the regular PlayStation 4, you get a 900p or 1600×900 resolution. On the PlayStation 4 Pro, you get a native 1080p image if you are using a 1080p set. If you’re a 4K TV owner you get a nice boost with Nex Machina, running at 3360×1890. Not quite Native 4K but the game still looks amazingly sharp on a 4K screen. It’s good to see a developer taking advantage of the PS4 Pro. Something that’s not always a guarantee.
The boss fights are really the only time in Nex Machina when I felt like the fun wasn’t to the max.
Nex Machina only has one area that I have an issue with. The boss fights are my least favorite part of each level by far. They offer a good challenge but they feel slightly jarring because most of them are fought on a fixed plane instead of having a big battlefield. The game doesn’t become unfair by any means. The gameplay just doesn’t feel as much fun. I would of rather each level have a crazy wave of enemies that would be difficult to finish. Rather than a big boss that sort of stops the gameplay flow.
Nex Machina is what you expect from Housemarque games. A tight, fun and challenging experience that is addicting and will keep you playing for hours. The presentation is great with HDR and Playstation 4 Pro support for higher resolutions for you 4K TV owners out there. If you are a fan of twin-stick shooters you need to pick up Nex Machina. The boss fights do annoy me a little bit, but it doesn’t stop the game from being fun by any means. Nex Machina is a blast to play for hours on end and I still am having trouble putting the controller down.