Earth has been invaded by a perverse race of bio-mechanical beings from outer-space known as Zeetnuks. A group of humans organize themselves to resist the invasion, but soon discover they don’t stand any chance against the enemy’s technological superiority. The Resistance decides to embark on an ambitious project: combining human and alien engineering, they set out to create a fleet of ships to fight the invaders. The Zeetnuks uncover the Resistance’s plans and they launch a surprise attack against the base where the humans are developing the prototypes. During the attack, Desmond Phoenix, a skilled pilot, manages to escape on a KZ 72—one of the models being developed, which everyone will come to know as DOGOS.
DOGOS tells the story of that pilot, and how his actions changed the future of the human race.
At the start of the game you can choose from 4 difficulties ranging from Very Easy up to Hard. The easiest difficulty gives you infinite lives whilst the other 3 give you the standard 3 lives. I wish I had chosen the Very Easy mode for my playthrough, it would have allowed me to see more of the game before writing this review (more on that later).
There are 2 ships to choose from but I didn’t really notice any difference to gameplay depending on which choice was made.
The first level is a gentle introduction and highlights the weapons at your disposal. You have an air weapon for the aerial threats and a ground weapon for……..you guessed it, the threats on the ground. Both types of enemies are present on the first level and it’s also a little tutorial on how you control your ship.
You intercept a mayday call from a tank that is being attacked by the Zeetnuk forces and this is the first time you meet Europa, a fellow survivor of the invasion. There is a dialogue between her and Desmond (you) and your first task is to escort the tank she is in to the end of the level. Along the way you get your first glimpse of the Zeetnuk threat in the form of air and ground units. There are 14 levels to fight through and as standard they get harder the further you go.
Each of the levels have 3 challenges to complete and there’s an achievement to be gained from completing them all and certain ones unlock skins which enable you to change the look of your ship (some replayabilty factor here).
After finishing a level and at the start of the next one there is a diary that Desmond reads to you which explains the story and you have Europa on hand during the missions too keeping you up to speed on what’s coming next.
The weapons are upgradeable and these upgrades are unlocked through story progression, I found it fun to go back to the earlier levels with better weapons and destroy everything that gave me trouble the first time.
The levels are really well done and look amazing, the detail is very good. When you get multiple enemies on the screen at the same time and then throw in all the explosions and laser fire it really is a glorious sight, also the game doesn’t slow down with everything that’s happening which is always a good thing.
The boss fights are an exercise in patience and the ability to learn the patterns of fire from them. These fights highlight one of the things that I think is missing, there is no health bar for them which means that you are always left with the feeling of ‘HOW MUCH LONGER IS THIS BLOOMING FIGHT GOING TO TAKE’. On the Very Easy difficulty this isn’t really a big thing because of the infinite lives you have, but on the other difficulties where you are limited to 3 lives it becomes an annoyance. All the bosses that I have encountered so far have been massive bullet sponges with some taking upwards of 15-20 minutes to overcome, if the boss you’re fighting is on the ground then your left trigger and trigger finger will be taking some hammer as there is no autofire for the ground weapon ( Opqam will be addressing this in a future patch).
I forgot to mention earlier when talking about weapons that you also have at your disposal special weapons. These are gained as pick-ups from random enemies that you kill, they range from homing missiles to lasers to the ultimate mega-bomb.
Later levels including the one I’m currently stuck on are scattered with laser gates (that have to be navigated) and shields (that have to be destroyed). This is the reason why I wish I had chosen the infinite lives path instead of the 3 lives one, I’m on Level 12 and can get to the middle (I think) of the level and then I keep geting destroyed by the gate/shield combination, when my 3 lives are done I can return to the last checkpoint but that is pretty much at the start of the level and the whole process of dying 3 times and restarting begins again. I know what you’re saying…….’git gud scrub’ , but try it yourself and see how well you do 😉 .
I will finish the game eventually, it’s not so hard that I get rage from it (unlike the last game I reviewed(Solar Shifter EX)).
Another thing that could have been added is scoreboards. You gain score from playing the game, so why not have a leaderboard so you can have bragging rights over your friends ?
I’m going to give DOGOS 7.5/10. A fun game to play with minor niggles, but they aren’t game breaking.