Featuring a consistent challenge and tense encounters, this roguelike shooter distinguishes itself in a crowded field
As a massive fan of twin-stick shooters, the Switch indie scene has provided many top-tier gaming moments over the years. For newcomers, that can also make it a challenge to differentiate. At a glance I had some concerns that the experience could feel a bit familiar, sharing the same sort of western vibe and general art style as the excellent West of Dead. Thankfully, those concerns went out the window pretty quickly as the pacing of D&N is quite a bit more aggressive, and your need to reload each bullet manually creates very tense moments as you try to keep an eye on your ammo, keep your gun loaded, and keep moving to avoid being an easy target. In true roguelike fashion the stages can, at times, be quite unpredictable in both their layout and difficulty, and in particular when you’re indoors in more cramped quarters you could be rolling into a massacre. I will say that it was a bit slow to get started, and at first didn’t make a great impression, but once I got some decent weapons and got some long-term skill upgrades my opinion improved greatly. You’ll definitely want to scour every building and corner of every map, as though it could result in your demise, you wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to get a better weapon, though you’ll need to keep an eye on the stats since damage is far from the only thing worth considering. I’d say the best selling point for Dust & Neon is that it simply has its own play style and feel, erring a bit on the side of being difficult (when you die, getting started again can be TOUGH), but delivering enough that oomph that it made even a jaded genre veteran smile.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.2]