By Tyler Trosper / July 10th, 2017
For all intents and purposes, Tower 57 wants you to believe it is an old game. From the 16-bit graphics and 80s references, it’s hard not to confuse it with a long-lost SNES game. The game’s official website even touts itself as “a modern take on what made AMIGA games so great back in the days.” So, with this emphasis on old school, does Tower 57 pull it off well? So far, yes.
Tower 57 is a top-down, twin-stick shooter and can be played either single or multiplayer. Each player gets to choose three characters and you only get to switch between each character when one dies. Depending on who you play, you are given a variety of different weapons and skills. You have an eclectic group, ranging from a mafia boss to a politician who looks suspiciously like Abraham Lincoln. The official website mentioned seven characters total, but the early access demo only offered six. However, the amount was plenty to offer a wide variety of gameplay options.
Combat is fast-paced and rewarding. Characters can hold up to three weapons and a sub-weapon as well. When in a pinch, the dash feature helps you escape from getting cornered. I played with a friend, but even still, fights can get pretty intense if you aren’t paying attention. Luckily, health packs and ammo drops were fairly plentiful, so the game isn’t impossible. The environment is highly destructible, and your destruction can be rewarded with many items and cash.
A feature I found unique was the possibility of losing limbs from your character. In the demo, a scripted event has an enemy run up to you and completely tear off your legs. Yikes! Doing so reduces your movement speed. However, there are various shops you can go to that allow you to purchase shiny new cyborg legs. Until you get to one, you can either crawl on the ground or, if you have a friend, someone can carry you. The cool thing about being carried is that you are able to shoot while being carried, so you can provide cover for your friend as they escort you to a store to purchase new legs.
The early access demo took my friend and I half an hour to get through, but we couldn’t help ourselves but go through the demo again. The setting, a dieselpunk world, is unique, even if the story so far isn’t incredibly gripping as of yet. The gameplay is fast-paced and multiplayer friendly. Tower 57 oozes style and harkens back to an older generation while feeling modern at the same time. The game releases sometime this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and possibly the AMIGA.
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