GAME REVIEW | Feeling Massively Sluggish in "Dawn of the Monsters"
I don’t know why, but games where you play as monsters destroying cities aren’t executed well. It shouldn’t be rocket science to make a game where you play as a behemoth and wreck everything around you. Yet from the PS3’s Eat Them! to the recent Godzilla title, almost no game has ever captured the fun and excitement of creating chaos all around you. Unfortunately, you can also place 13AM Games and WayForward’s latest Dawn of the Monsters on this list.
Inspired by classic tokusatsu series, Dawn of the Monsters has you taking control of four massive behemoths. Formerly creatures bent on vaporizing the planet, they are now in control of the organization D.A.W.N., who aim to use them to fight against their own kind. As you make your way through the four different war zones, you’ll find some interesting folks that are pulling the strings on this whole operation.
Battling other monsters takes a more arcade beat-em up route, as you punch and slash your way through the levels. With enough power, you’ll also be able to unleash Rage Attacks and Cataclysm Attacks that make wiping the map of enemies easier. As you work through the levels, you’ll be given the chance to upgrade your monsters will DNA Augments. These will aid in bettering your speed, overall power, and even the occasional health boost (something you’ll definitely need later on in the game).
There’s some good to be found in Dawn of the Monsters. Visually, the game smashes hard. Its comic book-like visuals bring out some terrific details on its monsters and cities. When you witness buildings being knocked down, the 2D world comes to life in a smattering of beautiful chaos.
Said destruction is a blast to watch unfold here, especially in co-op mode. Although you are trying to protect what’s left of the city, having the ability to pull out skyscrapers and use them as weapons is a delight. These multicolored worlds and creatures bring forth plenty of firepower in these battles, both literally and figuratively. It’s all wraps up nicely in what should be a terrific time creating wanton destruction!
Of course, the key phrase in that last sentence is “should be”. Alas, Dawn of the Monsters doesn’t quite deliver a true Godzilla/Pacific Rim experience, despite its decent story and characters. Instead, the game softens its chaos with the amount of limitations that makes a good time just a so-so one. And the culprit in this is its controls.
The movement these monsters have is slow and sluggish. Evading attacks and throwing one of your own takes time for it to happen, especially when one can’t judge if you’re in their peripheral due to the 2D aspect of the game. While it’s easy to keep your kill combo high with enough enemies on-screen, taking out some of the bigger fish requires plenty of fast movement on your part. Unfortunately, going fast isn’t something you’ll be able to do here.
Melee attacks are easy to initiate in Dawn of the Monsters, but it’s all one can really do here. Weak, strong, and dash attacks can be implemented, but I honestly cannot tell the difference between any of them. Rage Attacks are fun when you can implement them, but it’s hard to reach that level when you’re doing everything you can to fend off against multiple enemies. Worse, just about every one of its three dozen missions feels as same as one another.
It’s a shame, because the desire for kaiju-battling games is strong. But every time someone comes around to give it a go, they almost never get it right. (In fact, the last kaiju game I legit had fun with was Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee back in the GameCube era!)
- Great comic book-like visuals
- City destruction is a lot of fun
- Good monster customizations
- Controls feel slow
- Limited amount of attacks
- Levels lack variety
Dawn of the Monsters has a great style and plenty of flair. Sadly, its controls and repetitive levels make it a tough game to stomp through. It’s fun with a friend, but when playing solo, Dawn of the Monsters is a couple heads shy of a King Ghidorah.
Promotional consideration provided by WayForward Technologies. Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.