I shoot a giant worm thing to the sound of Bass Cannon in Mad Fellows' radical twist on the AudioSurf formula.
It's no secret to many that music-based action games are on the rise in popularity, particularly within the last two years. With this comes the opportunity to put your own unique twist on a genre that became more firmly established in 2008 with AudioSurf, and again earlier this year with AudioSurf 2. Early Access title Drive Any Track made itself known in May 2015 with a game that created stunt tracks based on songs in your music library.
Now, a new contender enters the ring. Aaero is an aerial combat game where instead of following notes on a track, you follow a trail in the sky. The longer you manage to keep to this set path, the more points you earn and the better the song sounds. As is typical with most musical titles, you need to impress in the visual department. Fortunately for Aaero, it's got that well and truly covered. It looks great; not only are the environments simplistic and beautiful, but the colour palette is varied as well. I'm not sure I was actually looking at the same colours for a second, as it seemed to change as each note of the song went by.
And that's another thing: there seems to be a focus on dubstep (or at least from the three tracks that were playable at EGX) and I feel like that's what makes it work so well. I'm not the biggest fan of stepping on dubs myself, but Aaero makes it more interesting to me presumably because of just how well it flows together. The first song I played was Flux Pavillion's "Bass Cannon" which is about as dubstep as it gets, and boy was it fun. I think I would have normally shrugged off the song if I was just listening to it, but the way everything is so frenetic and energetic made the trail more challenging to follow than it would have otherwise been. Couple that with the enemy onslaughts that require you to lock on before you can fire (timing is key, people) and you have a game that's easy to get into, but tricky to master.
It's also rather impressive in scale. During a break in a song, you're pitted against a giant creature that burrows underground and re-emerges at certain points. This was one of my favourite parts of the demo and something that distances Aaero from other games of a similar theme. You exit the tunnel from which you've been following the trail and you're suddenly greeted with this gorgeous desert-like landscape. Mr. Worm comes along and weaves in and out of your target reticle, then he goes and eats you afterwards. The trail/song then continues INSIDE MR. WORM. Eventually, you kill him before the camera pans out for one last look at the view of the world before the song ends.
I'm really interested in seeing what else Aaero has to offer. It's not just "another music game" for the way it blends action with music, and could well compete with those that first established the genre. It's set to launch on Microsoft's ID@Xbox programme for the Xbox One, as well as on the PlayStation 4 and PC, though no release date has been announced.
Me Love Cars - Co-Founder of Gameopedia Wiki 16:11, September 26, 2015 (UTC)