Metroidvania style games usually need to have something very specific for me to grab my attention. Usually these have a certain style and amazingly good controls. Games like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Blasphemous are some of the most recent to come to mind.
Blast Brigade vs The Evil Legion of Dr. Cread has an identity and an aesthetic of it’s own. A fantastic 2D art style, 80’s quips and one-liners, and excellent platforming make this Metroidvania a must-play so far.
Loading up for fresh start, the game greets you with a cutscene introducing you to Agent Jeff Jefferson from the spy organization, B.L.A.S.T. Jeff is on a mission to defeat The Evil Legion of Dr. Cread, as the title suggests.
Landing on the island, you’ll go through a small tutorial of what you can do, specifically, platforming, shooting, and collecting. Saving your game progress comes in the form of a hammock, where you also replenish health and battery packs.
In the demo, you are given access to two different weapons to alternate through, and a grenade launcher for clearing multiple enemies and debris. You’ll also gain a dash ability which will help you avoid enemy fire and platforming traps like spikes.
Firing your weapon with a controller feels great due to the rumble. Your first weapon, the rifle, has unlimited ammo but comes with a reload cooldown after emptying your magazine, or once you stop shooting for a few moments.
The second weapon, the shotgun, requires ammunition pickup drops from enemies, but also takes down enemies close range in one shot. Saving it for a sticky situation is best since you will have some pockets of enemies that can overwhelm you.
Difficulty in the demo version is standard, so it’s fairly easy but has it moments of toughness. I had the most trouble in areas where wall-mounted enemies, that can’t be killed, shoot acid balls while you platform over spikes.
Graphically it’s a great looking game with a Saturday Morning Cartoon feel to it. Lighting looks great, even in cavernous and jungle areas, with great fire effects.
There are some talking sounds but nothing is voiced over. Instead, it’s replaced with text and looping animations for expressiveness. It doesn’t detract from the game at all, but would be a welcomed addition if or when it gets introduced.
Small story elements is scattered throughout the levels you’ll traverse on either computer screens, signs, or skeletons from travelers from hundreds of years ago. They aren’t something that you necessarily need, but they offer a little bit of a giggle.
Enemy variety is a little lacking currently, but I can see the dev team adding more into the final game. Mostly, you’ll encounter regular and large soldiers from Dr. Cread, and bugs in the jungle- about 4 or 5, mostly flying.
Heavy enemies- as you’d expect- take more bullets to kill, but can be easily overcome with the grenade launcher. Energy for the battery packs, which are used for the grenade launcher, can be found by killing enemies or resting in a hammock.
In conclusion, Blast Brigade vs The Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is a great family friendly Metroidvania that has a long road ahead; but is fun enough for casual players and Metrovania enthusiast alike. It’s still a work in progress but it feels like it’s almost ready for primetime.
Personally, I feel like more enemies on screen at a time would make it a bit more challenging, but can still work as it is. It’s fun, and even in the bits where it can be a challenge, it’s even more fun because you feel like the action hero you were meant to be.
Blast Brigade vs The Evil Legion of Dr. Cread was previewed on Windows PC using a review code provided by MY.GAMES. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.