On hand at PAX East this past weekend was Bostonian developer Demiurge Studios, who in the past has worked closely with such companies as Harmonix, Gearbox Software and BioWare. Their pride and joy at the convention, Shoot Many Robots, is just what the name implies: many guns, many robots and lots of trigger-happy chaos. It also pays heavy homage to classic side-scrollers that are near and dear to many gamers' hearts.
The premise of Shoot Many Robots has a group of soldiers running amuck in the levels destroying as many of these droids as they can, thanks in part to a robot factory that somehow starting building the mechanic soldiers on their own. Each player is assigned two types of weaponry: primary (sub-machine guns, shotguns, revolvers) and what the developers call "Oh Shit Guns" (rocket launchers, grenades, Molotov cocktails). Thanks to an RPG-style of gameplay you will be able to choose various types of weapons and be able to upgrade them however you'd like. Players will also be given the chance to design their own armory, ranging from crazy headgear like helmets and tiaras to full body protectors like jetpacks and bagpipes. Considering the multiple types of clothing you can choose from it's going to be hard for two different players to make two of the same guy.
The overall look of the game will have gamers think of Borderlands, and considering Demiurge Studios worked on that title it should comes as no surprise that it looks just as good. On top of that is the actual gameplay itself. As soon as I started playing it the word Contra automatically popped in my head; the best part, though, was the fact that it wasn't as nerve-wrackingly tough as the classic NES side-scroller. Aiming took a tiny bit to figure out (as do most side-scroller shooters), but once it clicked I was shooting as many robots as I could fathom. While the demo was just over seven minutes long it gave me a good impression of what to expect from the full game.
Shoot Many Robots will be boosting an online co-op mode for up to four players, with the ability to share currency depending on how many kills each person racks up on the board. Also in the mix besides the main story mode will be Survival, which will have players massacre as many robots as they can before the robots kill them. Considering the vast amounts of weaponry and gameplay that seems to be featured in this title Shoot Many Robots will appear to have much replay value, with players wanting to discover other ways to destroy these little bastards! No release date has been announced as of yet, although it will be coming out in 2011 on Xbox Live Arcade (a PSN release is still up in the air). Once it does, however, you can expect a few good hours of robot anarchy to your heart's desire. After all, what's wrong with a little mechanical destruction here and there?