Sunday, November 18

Review: Destruction [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Standing out is a challenge in an eShop that has double digit new titles hitting every week, so every opportunity to make an impression and get eyeballs on your game can’t be wasted. A game that looks good and has a sense of style can generate interest, but being able to clearly convey the game experience is also pretty vital. In the case of the simply-named Destruction the pretty aggressive nature of that word, paired with the Commando-esque icon carry a certain “intense shooter” vibe. In execution it’s not really that at all, or at least not in a very satisfying way, with its pretty loose controls, squad-based setup, and somewhat detached gameplay.

The idea is that just you, or you paired with up to 3 friends, control a squad of super agents who each possess some different abilities. Working as a team your job will be to complete missions with a fairly extensive set of objectives. You’ll move around the map, encounter enemies, try to shoot them down while making use of your buffs and special attacks, and try to keep everyone alive by making use of various pick-ups that will appear when you take out some enemies. Mission progress will help you acquire components and gold that you can then use to kit out your squad members with new and improved gear, making them more capable.

The issue is that on a general level the action is pretty muddy. This isn’t a twin-stick shooter, so precision when you face multiple enemies simply isn’t happening. Bullet generally move very quickly as well so dodging isn’t too much of an option. The result is mostly everyone running around, holding down the shoot button, trying to use abilities as soon as they’re off of cooldown, and hoping for the best more often than not. In single-player the best strategy tended to be to briefly use someone, be aggressive with them, use their specials, and then cycle to the next person. This tended to yield decent results and ensure nothing was left unused but it also wasn’t terribly satisfying. As for the unlockable characters, weapons, and gear the issue is really that the fundamentals weren’t terribly satisfying so sticking it out in the hopes new people or gear would vastly improve things is an iffy proposition when there’s so many great games out there, shooters in particular.

Overall Destruction is a bit of a muddled mess, not working well as a shooter but the pacing is too quick for it to be terribly tactical either. In single-player it fares the worst, with you either relying on the AI players to do a decent job or simply cycling through them in the hopes of making the most of things. There’s a fair amount of content to explore here, the question is whether the core gameplay makes a strong enough case for you to stick around to see it all.

Score: 5

  • A pretty impressive roster of characters to unlock, each with their own abilities
  • Weapon and gear customization options
  • Mission objective variety

  • Muddled gameplay
  • Frustrating if you love shooters
  • Despite all of the content the core experience makes it unlikely most people will see much of it