Luftrausers review: Good Old-fashioned Bit Blasting
Ever since movies like TopGun and Iron Eagle, we have always pursued to find out what it was like to be the top-ace of a state-of-the-art aircraft, shooting down foes and slaying many enemies. To be able to pull off such an incredible feat always gives a shot of adrenaline. Luftrausers gives you that chance. Independently developed by Vlambeer studios, Luftrausers is a nice, refreshing take on good-old fashioned bit-blasting that puts up a very good fight.
In terms of narrative, all you have to know is that you are a top-ace pilot taking off in experimental aircraft, a rauser, in a world that is spun from World War I, World War II, and kind of The Cold War. You are on a suicide mission to kick the enemy’s butt, destroying blimps, battleships, subs, and hundreds of aircraft.
The game looks and sounds sharp and players will reminisce on arcade games long past that were all about fighting waves of dastardly foes. Players will take to the ocean and the skies, fighting ships, jets, boats, and other swift military hardware.
The game starts off great but it gets progressively harder. As your score goes up and you stay alive longer, more enemy ships fill the screen, along with hundreds of white bullets. Battleships with AA guns and submarines with cruise missiles step in to make things harder and ace aircraft lock onto you no matter what direction or how fast you are flying. You will not survive but you’ll want to keep playing.
Your rauser is customizable. You can change the weapons, engine, and body to various options. Each different customization changes which aircraft you fly. Each option has different attributes. An armored body will keep you protected but you’ll turn slower. An underwater engine will prevent giving you damage should you enter the ocean. However, it’ll make high altitude combat impossible. And an ion Cannon will devastate enemies but take forever to reload. You’ll go through the game finding out which customization works for you. Players earn customization through completing mission objectives based on their weapons and rauser choices. AS you complete each objective, more options are unlocked. As its old school visual style would indicate, some of these objective are incredibly challenging, especially with larger objectives such as destroying submarines and blimps.
Luftrausers biggest pull is its game play along with its visual styles. You have unlimited lives and you will frequently die, often moments after deploying. Moreover, you’ll be just moments from completing an objective, only to have some kind of unavoidable bullet terminate you mid flight. This creates a hooked sensation. Players will frequently be saying “One More game” to themselves in that attempt to complete a mission and finally triumph over the enemy. This makes Luftrausers a long-lasting title.
The game has an old-fashioned color palette to evoke the sense of an old combat mission underway. Dark browns, beige’s, and whites deliver this sense as you play. Also, the logos and characters designs in the menu screen emphasize this feeling. Finally, the music is a blast to listen to, once again underscoring your fight into the wild yonder and the many enemies that will come you way.
Luftrausers has been a tremendous success for a reason and that is its focus on old-fashioned game play but presenting it in a fashion that is both modern but staying true to its simple, bit blasting roots. It may not be deep in game play variety but it maximizes depth with game play and mission. Luftrausers is a unique title that is well-worth your time and highly recommended to players seeking for a unique title with challenging fun. I hope to see more form this interesting indie studio!
Special Note for PlayStation Owners: This IS a crossbuy option. Purchase on the PS3 and you get the PS Vita copy for free and vice-versa. This makes it even more of a must-buy!