On the mechanics side of things, Awesomenauts supports up to 3 players locally, online, or mixed in co-op. I played split-screen with one other player, and I found it to be very well implemented with a horizontal divide. Players can drop in or out at any time and be replaced by bots, which is great as players will never be forced to wait in a lobby for other players. The bots provide a decent (though probably not phenomenal) challenge for a relaxed game of comp-stomp. Unfortunately, there is no difficulty setting for the bots, excepting the difference between Practice Mode and a Private game with bots on the opposing side (the bots in Practice seem to be quite a bit easier). The lack of this setting is not entirely surprising (as the main focus is on PVP), but as many MOBAs do have it nowadays, I was slightly disappointed that Awesomenauts didn’t.
2-player local split screen
All in all, I would consider Awesomenauts a success of bringing the MOBA over to the console. It’s certainly more casual than other MOBAs, but on the console I think this was the right move. The graphics are colorful and fun, and the developers have added a healthy dose of humor and silliness to the game, which I found extremely appealing. On the plus side, the loadout and account level systems provide a nice amount of customization and sense of progression to the game, and the heroes feel substantially different from one another. There's also a few different maps to change things up a bit. On the minus side, a roster of 6 heroes is very low and the bot difficulty could be improved. These are mostly minor complaints, however, and they might not be lasting issues, as the developer already has a new hero in the works as well as a substantial balance patch. If you’re intrigued by the genre and want a nice light version to get you eased in, or if you’re already a MOBA fan and want a more casual, console version, I’d certainly recommend that you give Awesomenauts a whirl.
Editor's Note: A copy of Awesomenauts was provided for this Co-Optimus Co-Op Review by the publisher
The Co-Op Experience: Three players can team up locally and play against bots.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.