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We Are Doomed Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . We Are Doomed is a no-frills dual-stick shooter that takes players through thirty stages of colorful action. While all the elements are good, this game feels small when compared to the competition. Some gamers may enjoy the back-to-basics approach and powerful laser weapon, but We Are Doomed never adds the one element it needs to be truly memorable. Rating: 64%
We Are Doomed
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
When it comes to the competitive world of dual-stick shooters, it's hard to stand out without a gimmick. In just the past few years we've seen the sub-genre use zombies, geometry, music and more zombies, all with varying amounts of success. But even after spending several hours blasting the colorful bad guys in We Are Doomed, I couldn't figure out what set it apart. Could it be that somebody made a dual-stick shooter without a gimmick?

While you would think that a no-frills action game would be refreshing, what it did was send me into a downward spiral as I tried to figure out what it was that made this dual-stick shooter unique. After much consternation, I finally let go and just accepted the experience for what it is -- a fun (albeit simplistic) action game.


As such, We Are Doomed is incredibly easy to describe. You play a circular character that flies around the screen with one analog stick and shoots with the other. Instead of using the typical bullets, our hero emits a sharp blade of energy that cuts enemies down in short order. Some enemies will drop blocks, which powers the game's lone special attack. The only other thing you have to worry about is killing as many polygonal baddies as possible before they get you.

Each wave offers a unique challenge, complete with new types of colorful enemies to zap. We Are Doomed throws us a lifeline by adding checkpoints every ten stages, which allows us to continue from that point at any time. While the game is punishingly difficult, it always felt like I was making forward progress. Even if that progress was at a snail's pace.

As the title suggests, the game is purposely sadistic. It's a lot easier to die in We Are Doomed than most dual-stick shooters, and I always felt woefully underequipped for the challenge. The game's website calls it an "overpowered laserbeam," but it only takes a few waves before the enemies have the upper hand.

The enemy designs look like they were ripped out of early arcade games from the late 1970s. But don't let their simple look fool you, because these baddies know how to make it hard on our hero. There are little characters constantly marching around the edge of the battlefield, making it impossible to take refuge in the corners. And with only two weapons in the arsenal, it often seemed like I was only moments away from death.

We Are Doomed (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Had We Are Doomed continued to find new ways to keep the action fresh and interesting, I likely would have accepted the punishing difficulty as a retro-inspired quirk. But too much of this game stays the same from wave to wave, making it hard to remain interested in the simple concept. It doesn't have that hook that pulls me in and keeps me playing for hours on end. Instead of being wowed by the colorful visuals and unique art style, I couldn't shake the feeling that I've played this game before.

On the other hand, the game does get a lot of the core mechanics right and is fun in short bursts. I am a big fan of the art style and think this is one of the better looking shooters on the PlayStation 4. Had I not recently played through games like Geometry Wars 3 and #killallzombies, I probably would have been more forgiving of some of the shortcomings. But as a new dual-stick shooter in 2015, We Are Doomed seems to be aware of the uphill battle it faces.

While not as ambitious as I would have liked, this is a solid action game with mesmerizing visuals. The ambient soundtrack is equally impressive, adding quite a bit to the overall experience. We Are Doomed has all the right pieces in place, but never adds the one element it needs to be truly memorable.
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