Wave survival is one of the ultimate tests, not just of strength and skill, but also of perseverance. You can spend hours, sometimes days, diving into a game to reach the highest round, either competing with the world or just within your friend group. We've had classics from the past like Call of Duty Zombies and the Boxhead franchise, a Y8 classic. In more recent times, games like Vampire Survivors have taken the stage.
All of these games share the same goal: making it as far as you can and then feeling like an absolute legend when it's all said and done. Shutdown captures that same feeling but with the added twist of "at what cost." Fortunately, the game is in its early alpha stage, so what we experienced was just a taste of what's yet to come. Unfortunately, not all the main features you'd expect from a wave-based survival game are present at this point.
Shutdown boasts an isometric design and graphics that reflect careful thought, even down to the particle design for effects like flames. These elements make the game shine and compel you to keep playing, whether it's to discover new areas on the surprisingly large map or to admire the small details in each specific area. For example, a flaming car in one portion of the map adds to the game's visual appeal. Shutdown looks amazing and runs smoothly even when facing a massive horde of foes. Whether you're firing a massive explosion of rockets at hordes of zombies or taking on hovering, laser-shooting robots, the game doesn't glitch out too badly. Launching into the game is a straightforward process, allowing you to gain a different perspective than the in-game view of what you'll be up against.
Shutdown throws players straight into the madness, prompting them to quickly choose from four different abilities, including a slide that can eliminate nearby enemies, a slow heal for extended survival, a shield to block enemy projectiles, and a rage mode for increased damage. These abilities add variety to gameplay and cater to different play styles. However, they fall short after the first 20 rounds when the game becomes repetitive, inundating players with an ever-increasing number of mobs without enough variation to make the character feel adequately equipped to handle the challenge.
The gameplay is enjoyable for about 20 rounds but has a significant downside due to a lack of depth. Another issue arises as enemy types become repetitive, with only about three different types encountered in-game: regular zombie walkers called "hulls," overweight zombies known as "gassers" that emit explosive gas, and flying drones named "meat manglers," which should be eliminated promptly due to their annoyance.
Despite these limitations, Shutdown excels in the area of weapon design and functionality. Players can purchase weapons with the money earned from defeating mobs, some of which drop money, energy, or health. These drops can be lifesavers, especially when used strategically with the right upgrades. Weapons include shotguns, burst pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, combat shotguns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, heavy machine guns, and the mysterious BFG 11K, a weapon that defies description until you try it. Each weapon offers a different approach to dealing with mobs, adding variety to the gameplay. While the weapons provide some diversity, it may not be enough to keep players engaged for extended periods.
Shutdown serves as a solid foundation for a wave survival game with captivating graphics that can keep players engaged for an hour or two at a time. However, as an early alpha stage game, it lacks the variety of abilities, character options, and missions found in more developed wave survival games. Additional maps and features would help it stand out further. Despite its limitations, Shutdown still offers an enjoyable experience and is worth trying if you're a fan of wave survival games.
Shutdown lays a sturdy foundation for a wave survival game with captivating graphics that can engage players for brief periods. However, as an early alpha-stage title, it lacks the diversity in abilities, character choices, and missions typically found in more mature wave survival games. The addition of extra maps and features would help it stand out. Despite these limitations, Shutdown offers an enjoyable experience for fans of wave survival games.
A variety of versatile and enjoyable weapons
Attention to detail in the graphics
A larger-than-expected map with diverse training and playing areas
Smooth and enjoyable gameplay
Occasional sound effect glitches
Absence of abilities or in-game missions to maintain player engagement
Overwhelming enemy waves all at once
Limited enemy variety, leading to repetitiveness