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Matterfall analysis. A wild and challenging future arcade

Matterfall
Written by Kamran Haider

If the Housemarque studio recently gave us a really magnificent twin-stick shooter bet with Nex Machina, now this same team gives us a very original and surprising videogame, a brand of the house. Matterfall analysis.

Although it may seem something “extreme”, the truth is that of the first titles that were released for PS4 Resogun was the one that struck me the most. His concept of “spherical shooter” coupled with his frenetic gameplay and a colorful graphics section got really hooked … something that happened again later when the title was edited on PS3 (and PS Vita). Undoubtedly Housemarque is one of those studies so good and they have specialized in a genre so deeply that it is able to make it evolve without the intervention of “third parties”. And that has enormous merit in my opinion.

Matterfall comes to support this statement, an adventure that has surprisingly been published very shortly after Machina, his most recent work (and sensational as you can see in our corresponding analysis) reached the market. Some might think that such a short period of time has been an important impairment for what their new production holds. But fortunately it has not happened that way, and far from being before a less polished title or stripped of the brilliance that Housemarque’s creations usually provide, the opposite has been the case: Matterfall is a very original and exciting shooter that will thrill Gender lovers … and maybe many others.

Original but with classic flavor

Many of us have celebrated the arrival of Metroid: Samus Returns for Nintendo 3DS, a title that is falling and that I count the seconds to enjoy it to the fullest (I have already tried it and I have loved it). And how do I get this title? Because far from being before a traditional shoot’em up, Materfall is an adventure that despite its unmistakable arcade vein, keeps certain parallels with the work of Nintendo. But only to a certain extent, eye, do not misunderstand me, that we are not facing an adventure that has a Metroidvania style structure at all.

But I insist that there are certain parallels between Metroid and what this production holds for us. To begin with, the protagonist is a mercenary who responds to the name of Avalon Darrow and is sheathed in a spacesuit that confers certain skills. And the mission that this girl must assume is to end an alien threat, an argument that shapes a really interesting science fiction setting. Does this all sound like something to you? Well, some elements of the gameplay also remind somewhat of what was experienced in the adventures of Samus Aran, although without losing sight of the fact that we are facing a frantic arcade of 2D development from head to toe, with all that this entails.

The title consists of three well-differentiated scenarios, with a boss and three phases per beard, which gives rise to approximately four or five hours of play depending on the level of difficulty chosen (and the ability of each). It may not seem like a big deal, but taking into account the genre to which it belongs, its digital character and that, as always happens precisely with shooters, presents fairly remarkable replayability, it does not seem to me to be a very important defect.

It barely gives us a second of respite.

The development is very absorbent and masterfully mixes two classic genres such as platforms and action, adding some strokes of exploration and adventure. In this way, under a multidirectional horizontal scroll, we have to go through scenarios full of enemies that need to be dispatched (or dodging, which is also valid on many occasions). To overcome each situation that the title poses, it is possible to take advantage of the many special skills that the protagonist is able to perform, some quite striking.

His main aptitude is his great capacity for combat, with a blaster capable of annihilating everyone who gets in the way. Its agility is also impressive and in addition to being able to make a double jump, you can also execute the classic dash or fast short displacements that are very useful both to avoid the shots that the opponents throw at us and to leave them paralyzed for short periods of time. It is also possible to use the Overload to slow down the action for a few moments and enjoy invulnerability, which is especially useful when we are surrounded by adversaries, shots and other dangers.

But perhaps its most striking ability is its plasma beam with which it is able to crystallize a very specific bluish material that we usually find in certain places of the scenarios, thus being able to create improvised shields and platforms that help us a lot in each phase. This last skill gives enough play, I assure you, and mastering it requires some practice, as well as taking control of the system.

Being a Housemarque title, I don’t need to tell you how vibrant and frantic its development is. Removing the first phase that serves as a tutorial, the rest just gives us a second of respite and that is why we get the control systemIt is essential … but it requires some learning. The sticks allow us to move (left) as well as aim and shoot (right), while almost all of the buttons on the control (crosshead included) allow us to perform different actions, from storing weapons and secondary skills to jumping, activating the overload, make the mentioned dash, etc. And given the degree of challenge that the game holds (especially in Mercenary and Veteran), mastering perfectly all the actions and movements that we can achieve is essential.

Masterfully mix two classic genres such as platforms and action.

The result is a vibrant and very intense video game, one of which is enjoyed a lot while they last. It is also varied enough despite its nature, and more if we take into account that during the adventure we can collect new skills and secondary weapons, rescuing civilians who are dispersed by areas not very accessible from the scenarios and, most striking perhaps, entering certain areas of zero gravity that break somewhat with the dynamics of the game.

However, returning somewhat to what I said at the beginning, I would lie if I did not say that the adventure has left me wanting more or, rather, I think I could have given more of itself. Its similarity with Metroid is evident but in this case (and for obvious reasons) it is a much more direct and linear title, with a depth load much lower than what was experienced in the saga starring Samus Aran. Something logical for its character so markedly shooter but that, I insist, I think it could have taken another twist to the formula established in Matterfall.

Recommended: Agents of Mayhem analysis. Desmere Volition style

Conclusion:

A new work by Housemarque lands on PS4 to the joy of all the unconditional of both the shooters and the studio itself, which we have already begun to be a few. Materfall does not disappoint and gives us a really wild, futuristic and quite challenging arcade experience if we decide to play at the medium difficulty level (Mercenary) or, even more, difficult (Veteran). A very careful title in every way that offers an attractive and relatively varied and even original gameplay within its genre. It is not the longest-running adventure in the world (as usually happens with shooters) and I think it could have been even better, but despite that, it is a game worth enjoying.

  • The gameplay is vibrant and very absorbent
  • It is a good challenge if we decide to play at Veteran level
  • Excellent futuristic setting and soundtrack
  • The protagonist enjoys a multitude of movements and actions
  • Your three worlds (12 levels) may know little
  • He could have given more of himself in some playable aspects

About the author

Kamran Haider

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