Awesomenauts has made the jump over to PC via Steam. The transition to the new platform, with accompanying control-scheme changes and new user interface, has had an effect on the experience, but to what extent does this change my impressions in my review of the game’s console release.
Don your cowboy hats and mobile automated attack suits, friends, because we’re heading to another stalemate among the stars!
In Awesomenauts, two teams of three push and pull against one another in their goal to destroy the enemy’s power core, while simultaneously defending their own. It’s a MOBA, with an emphasis on light platforming, bullet spamming, and matches that are generally long enough to hammer out some kind of character progression via the gradual collection of currency. I concluded in my earlier review that Awesomenauts was “a MOBA worth investing in,” but ultimately couldn’t summon the courage to ride the game’s learning curve to the point of becoming a good enough player.
My opinion on Awesomenauts has hardly changed since I’ve spent some time with the PC version. I still love its cast of characters that look as though they were wrenched from the pages of a comic book. I still like how each of these characters have their own distinct role in their cartoonish pantheon. I can see how many people enjoy the brisk to-and-fro of Awesomenauts’ multiplayer battle arena matches, but I just can’t seem to love the game as a whole. I simply can’t bring myself to muscle through Awesomenauts’ clunky combat to the point where I’ve mastered the games strategies.
In Awesomenauts, combat revolves around peppering the enemy with short-range shots and occasionally activating a character-specific ability. Everything is down to these character abilities, because doing damage any other way quickly becomes a perplexing muddle as both characters deftly hop about one another just trying to land hits. On consoles aiming was done by tilting the analog stick. On the PC, you guide a cursor to aim your shots. The PC method of control is far superior, because while it’s still difficult to negotiate your often short firing range with the agility of most the game’s characters, it becomes somewhat easier when you can deftly aim with a cursor.
Other changes thanks to the platform change are largely just aesthetic. A new user interface looks appropriately futuristic and sharp, while controls aside from the aiming are simply mapped to new buttons and keys. It’s worth mentioning that Awesomenauts on the PC launches with the Go Go Robo Power Patch that brought two new ‘nauts to the game for free.
After spending more time with Awesomenauts on the PC I can’t say that my opinion has changed. The minute-to-minute combat of Awesomeauts seems to be the game’s weakest aspect, but is made somewhat more viable thanks to the versatility of the keyboard/mouse combination. There are great times to be had with Awesomenauts for somebody of the right disposition; someone who is patient enough to weather a brutal introductory period and underwhelming combat. Awesomenauts is still a solid MOBA here with heaps of charm, but I’m afraid that it still isn’t a game for me.
Review based on PC release.