By Steve Baltimore / March 31st, 2022
|Title||Dawn of the Monsters|
|Developer||13AM Games, WayForward|
|Release Date||March 15, 2022|
When I first saw WayForward was releasing Dawn of the Monsters I was instantly interested in it. I love Kaiju movies and Beat-em-Ups so I was pretty sure this one was going to be my cup of tea. I’ve put about 10 hours into this one with a good friend of mine, and now it’s time to share my thoughts on it. Did we have a great monster bashing time, or is this just a dollar store monster movie rip off?
In this world gigantic creatures known as the Nephilim have invaded the Earth. Our last hope is an organization called DAWN. This is a global task force that was created to preserve mankind’s sovereignty during these unprecedented times. They assemble a team of heroes that consist of a superhuman, a giant mecha and even a couple of Nephilim themselves that are cooperating for unknown reasons. Can this group of heroes really destroy all the Nephilim and free the Earth? Only time will tell!
The story and gameplay here are pretty basic, but they are interesting enough to keep you in the game to the end. I will say I preferred the Japanese voice acting over the English cast. I get the English cast was going for that very cliché old school monster movie vibe, but it came off very cringey at times. In the end though this comes down to personal choice and both options are in here.
The gameplay in a title like this is its bread and butter. Thankfully Dawn of the Monsters delivers on this front. Players will battle through many side scrolling stages picking up buildings and other random objects to slay the Nephilim menace. Like most games in the genre, you have have a light and heavy attack you can use to make combos, and a variety of special moves for each character. These moves are called Rage Moves and they will consume some of the Rage meter that builds as you bust up buildings or beat up the baddies. These moves are very powerful and can really get you out of a bind when you are surrounded by enemies. The Rage Moves are not the only thing that will consume the meter. You can give up one bar of it to perform and execute move on an enemy. This will not only give you their head to use as weapon, but restore some of your health in the process. The last meter at the top of the screen is the Cataclysm Meter. When this one is full you can unleash a powerful screen filling attack. These attacks will damage the enemy horde and give you some breathing room for sure.
I found the combat in this one really enjoyable. Each of the characters have different characteristics that make each unique and fun to use. Megadon is a super tank character with big damage and slow movement whereas Aegis Prime’s attack is lower but he has incredible speed. Each of these fighters can be further customized by the Augments you equip on them. These will not increase their basic stats but give them a wide range of other perks. These include things like increased damage, faster meter building and improved vampirism, which is very important since this will restore your health based on the damage you do. Each character can equip up to three of these and you will unlock more powerful ones as you progress through the story. If you get one that you love the effect but the stats are low, you can spend in-game cash to re-roll these stats, which I thought was a nice touch.
Graphically, Dawn of the Monsters looks fantastic. The cell shaded graphics and model details are all nicely done, and the environments look great as well. In one of the later stages the lights go out and you can just see the glowing parts of your characters in the dark and I thought this looked really impressive. The boss characters are all very unique and are every bit as bad ass as they look. The game runs great on the Switch with no slow downs or gameplay hitches, but I did run into a few bugs the team hopefully addresses.
At the end of the day I have to say I really enjoyed my time with Dawn of the Monsters. The combat is a lot of fun, and the game is pretty challenging. It would really be best to grab a friend for this one, since having two people via the couch Co-Op really makes the game feel more balanced. The Nest fights and some of the boss fights can be really tough doing them single player, but with the right Augments most players will be able to conquer them. The game will set you back $29.99, and I feel like this price is a bit high for the content here. That said, if you’re really into games like this with couch Co-Op this is still a pretty good pickup. This is a very unique game and I hope we see more Beat-em-Ups like this in the future. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more Nephilim to smash!
Game was provided by the publisher for review.
beat-’em-upDawn of the MonsterskaijuWayForward