The lights are on
If you do a YouTube search for “bullet hell,” you can see some incredible examples of gaming precision. In this genre of arcade-style shooter, the screen is deluged in enemy fire, requiring players to move around the playfield with pinpoint precision. It’s also a genre that requires a lot of practice and repetition to master. Digital Reality’s upcoming DLG Sine Mora is setting its sights square on a neglected market: folks who like shooters but don’t necessarily have superhuman skills. Read on to learn how they plan to tackle the problem.First and foremost, getting hit by enemy fire in the side-scrolling game doesn’t cause physical damage to the player’s airplane. Instead, victory or defeat is determined by the relentless passage of time. A clock counts down at the beginning of the game, and if it hits zero it’s game over. Fortunately, players can do a few things to postpone that fate. Every enemy killed adds time to the clock. When enemy shots hit the player, bits of time are taken away.Players can also manipulate time, slowing it down temporarily to dodge swirling patterns of bullets. If they rely on this too much though, they run the risk of not encountering enough enemies to feed the constantly dwindling clock.Hardcore players can check out the arcade mode, which features leaderboards, combo chains, and all the accoutrements that a fan would expect. Casual players will still be challenged in the regular mode, though the task isn’t insurmountable. Sine Mora is also narrative driven, which is a decision to make players feel more invested in what’s going on in the game.The game looks pretty good, with bright environments and a nice overall design. Machines are generally chubby little things, with armor plating held in place by visible rivets. There are seven levels in the game, and Digital Reality says that no assets are recycled from level to level.One of the game’s highlights is the impressive boss machines. There are 13 of them in all, and they’re large, multifaceted beasts. In classic shooter fashion, players have to pick them apart piece by piece, dismantling turrets and cannons before going in for the kill. The bosses were actually designed by Grasshopper Manufacture, though the game itself was developed by Digital Reality.The game is due out in January or February on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
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