Nex Machina Review – Jarvis Approved (PS4)

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Looking back upon Finnish indie developer Housemarque’s titles, it’s clear that the studio always held designer Eugene Jarvis in high regard. After all, their hit PlayStation 4 launch title Resogun was practically an HD version of Defender. That’s why it’s so cool to see the developer actually collaborate with the legendary game designer on Nex Machina, a twin-stick shooter in the vein of Jarvis’ Robotron: 2084 and Smash TV.

Like classic twin-stick shooters, the core action in Nex Machina is as simple as pointing the right stick at enemies. That’ll send an endless barrage of bullets at the colorful baddies that pop into the world, and there’s no ammo management to worry about here. It manages to separate itself from its arcade counterparts thanks to some additional depth, which is found via a dash move, an upgrade system that makes the player more powerful over time, and powerful sub-weapons that have a cooldown between uses.

Since Eugene Jarvis is a consultant on the game, it’s no surprise that a lot of his influence shines during the fast-paced action. Every world is made up of tiny levels, and within those players will be tasked with saving humans a la Robotron. This’ll net players extra points that are