Every once in a while, a game comes along that redefines the medium. It changes the very definition of gaming, creating an interactive experience unlike any other previous title. Shoot Many Robots is not that game. It’s a 2.5D side-scrolling shooter created around a simple concept, shoot’n and loot’n robots. It also happens to be expertly crafted specifically for cooperative play. Even more impressive is that hardcore gamers and casual fans alike will find something to enjoy as they blast those bots.
The story is simple enough: an army of evil robots have wrecked P. Walter Tugnut’s home and destroyed his truck, leaving him with little more than his trusty RV and enough weapons to make a full-priced retail game blush. Seriously, it’s a ridiculous amount of firepower. An absurdly large armory. Tons of guns. His sole muse seems to be simple revenge. Walter must have really liked that truck. Good enough for me. Players step into Tugnut’s form-fitting boots/fishnet stockings/fairy wings with the simple goal of shooting many robots.
The game looks a bit like Borderlands with its cel-shaded graphics. It’s mostly set in junkyards and other rusted-out locations. There isn’t a ton of variety to the scenery, but you really won’t have time to notice. You’ll be too busy wetting your pants when you see your latest firearm purchase do quadruple-digit damage to some robot scrub.
Just chillin in the RV with my awesome backpack.
Fans of the Contra or Metal Slug franchises will be right at home with the controls and gameplay in SMR. Shoot all the damn robots as you run (mostly) to the right, or stay alive while dismantling every mechanical monster that has the nerve to get in your line of sight as you hold your ground.
You and your co-op partners will pour bullets, buckshot, rockets, and grenades into unrelenting hordes of robot monsters -- most of whom appear to be the offspring of some hellish mating ritual involving lawnmowers, chainsaws, artillery, and unrelenting robo-rage.
SMR is built for co-op play. When you first start a game you are actually in a multiplayer lobby. From here a second local player can jump in. You can always start a quick match with random players if none of your pals are available.
The higher difficulty levels demand additional players, unless you’re some kind of bullet-punching savant. Two players can play locally, four players can play online, and yes, the game supports combo co-op. This means two local players can play with two more people online. There is no split screen, so the local buddies will be tethered to each other on the same screen. Online players will be able to stray off on their own, but I’d advise sticking together. SMR scales remarkably well when more players are added to the mix.
Once you begin a game you’ll enter Tugnut’s RV. This acts as a hub-world where players can choose the next stage, suit up in stat-boosting gear, and buy a plethora of new items and weapons. You’ll equip your Tugnut with a primary weapon which has unlimited ammo, a more powerful weapon with finite ammunition, head gear, a back pack, and some type of belt or pants. Each of you will be playing as a Tugnut clone while sporting a different colored vest. Your physical appearance will change drastically as you and your teammates unlock random gear. While in the RV you can even shoot your buddies to see what kind of damage you can dish out. Don’t worry, you can’t hurt each other once a stage begins.
Right now my Level 44 Tugnut is using “The Precise Arbor Day” as his main firearm, the “Name-Brand Grenade Launcher” as his secondary, and he’s wearing the “Firefighter’s Helmet,” the “Read or Perish” pack, and “Plain Stunt Pants.” Most of the items have humorous descriptions and greatly affect your robot-slaying abilities. The weapons have different rates of fire, damage, and range. Some will even slow you down. Who knew carrying around a giant cannon would adversely affect your speed?
The equipment not only affects your stats, some if it will grant special moves like a ground slam and power slide. As you level up your core stats will increase as well. A level 20 player using a level 5 gun will be much deadlier than a level 5 player.