First Looks// Not a Hero

Posted 1 Apr 2014 15:14 by
Short controlled bursts. That's the key to playing Not a Hero, Roll7's brand new addition to the ever burgeoning pantheon of indie games with minimalist yet wonderfully animated graphics.

Oh and try and stay in cover while you're at it. Otherwise you're very likely to get your head shot off. Not your own head of course, that would be ridiculous. No, I'm referring to the little super-spy like character that features in the game who certainly is most definitely not a hero.

Hey you made it to the second paragraph! Well done you! By now most readers have moved on to something shiny but not you no; you're here for the duration. I like you. What's that? Oh the game? Yes right, well it's brought to you in AMAZING ISO-Slant(tm).

This is a brand new technology that allows developers to present things in 2.25D. This is actually the same as a 2D space only with one layer of depth of field. With ISO-Slant(tm) characters can drop in and out of the screen's plane, thus affording the adoption of a cover mechanic in what normally be possible environment.
I can tell you that it involves a bunny called BunnyLord who is from the future...
It is this aspect of ISO-Slant that Not a Hero takes advantage of as the player is required to use cover as their primary mode of defence while they tackle the myriad of security forces that are thrown at them. Each level in Not a Hero is a building that has to be infiltrated in some way.

Why the player is required to do this isn't really relevant. I can tell you that it involves a bunny called BunnyLord who is from the future and has enrolled the services of the game's main protagonist to clean up the city prior to BunnyLord's mayoral election.

See, I told you it wasn't important. But did you listen? NO! You carried on reading the third paragraph like the long attention span person that you are!

T
he AI behind the actions that drive the security forces in the buildings is extremely sensitive. They detect sounds from quite a distance and will react once gun shots are heard from other parts of the building. They also work together to corner the player to the point where they will flank them, causing the player to panic and die a horrible death.

It's not just sound that the AI reacts to, it's also the seemingly passive actions of the player, such as reloading. The weapons in the game all have a limited numbers of bullets in their respective magazines and replacing a clip is a somewhat fiddly process that takes an inordinate amount of time for both player and AI controlled enemies to complete.
Do they run in guns a-blazing or should a slide in into someone, knocking them down and then promptly shoot them in the head?
It's almost as much time as it has taken you oh determined one to read this fourth paragraph. This can and is used to both side's advantage as it is possible to take someone down while they frantically try to reload their gun.

The pace of Not a Hero is extremely frenetic interspersed with bouts of careful consideration as the player is forced to ponder their next move. Do they run in guns a-blazing or should a slide in into someone, knocking them down and then promptly shoot them in the head?

While playing the game at EGX-Rezzed 2014 I tended to go for the former solution, with little success I might add. But not you eh? You fifth paragraph reading paragon of readers! No, you're more likely to take your time and consider your surroundings. I wish I could do that, I really do.

As you may have gathered I rather like Not a Hero. The pacing and difficulty is countered with the ease with which the player can reset and start again for the 100th time as they attempt to infiltrate the seemingly impregnable building.

I came back to this game multiple times during my stint at EGX-Rezzed 2014 and declared it to be my personal game of the show. As a special reward for making it to the end of this First Look I shall inform you that the game is due to appear in the Summer 2014 for PC and Mac.
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