๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ”ซ Review: Dimension Drifter (Early Access) "This is no walking simulator, this is a very fast paced shoot-em-up!" ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ”ซ #GameDev #IndieGames

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Dimension Drifter (Early Access)
Developer: Blue Eagle Productions/Paul Schneider
Platform: PC - Steam
Rating: Melting
Review by: Gareth ‘GazChap’ Griffiths (gazchap@gmail.com)
When the chaps over at Games Freezer asked me to review Dimension Drifter, naturally the first thing that I did was check out the game’s Steam Store page to see what I was letting myself in for.
My first impression, from the basic screenshots on the page, was that this was a game like Unreal Tournament and that I would be rocket jumping around the place gibbing people left, right and centre. I was wrong.

Rather than being an online deathmatch shoot-em-up, Dimension Drifter is instead (for now, at least – it is Early Access after all) a single player shoot-em-up, with RPG elements, a third-person viewpoint and, from what I understand, semi-procedurally generated maps.
The storyline of the game is, as one might expect for the genre, basic. A nasty fate has befallen humans, with demons and other horrible creatures pouring out of portals that have appeared around the world. Various cities around the world have built domes to protect themselves against the demonic onslaught, but most of humanity is doomed.
The character that you play is a “Drifter”, someone who survived the initial attacks long enough to be able to acquire special abilities. These abilities make you essentially super-human, but the surviving humans consider your abilities as demonic and have ostracised you as a result.
Starting a game, you are given the choice of a few missions to play. Dive straight in, and you land in the game world – a reasonably good-looking world at that, with the graphics being reminiscent of Borderlands and other cel-shaded titles like the flawed Ubisoft release from the early 2000s, XIII.

Standard WASD controls are the order of the day here, and your character moves very smoothly – and very quickly. This is no walking simulator, this is a very fast paced shoot-em-up. It feels a bit like Quake III Arena speed-wise, although sadly the comparison ends there.
The goal on each mission seems to be to find and operate an “exit portal” (which looks a bit like the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey), dispatching any nasties that get in your way. In each level you start with a pistol and a shotgun, and these can be customised as you gain XP and unlock various rewards and customisations through “booty chests” – treasure boxes that you find on each map and can open to collect their contents at the end of the level.
The variety of monsters that you’ll come up against seems to be a bit limited at present, although it is an Early Access title, so I can’t judge it too harshly on that. The biggest problem for me with the bad guys is that they seem to exhibit very little in the way of intelligence. They spot you and basically just come at you until they get blown apart, which doesn’t really make for very compelling gameplay.
Killing enemies leaves behind power-ups, like health drinks, ammunition for your weapons and armour plating, and you can also find power-ups dotted around each map as you go through.

When you activate an exit gate to complete a mission, you can see the rewards that you’ve collected and then it’s basically back to the mission screen to choose another randomly generated mission.
Each map is apparently generated by the computer but made up of hand-crafted rooms and other elements to make sure that the map flows reasonably well. This is kind of like the procedural map generation found in the recent games in the XCOM series, although the maps in Dimension Drifter are incredibly basic both in layout and in style – a few elevation changes here and there, but other than that nothing that’s going to offer much challenge.
RPG elements come in to play with the XP rewards and customisation options that are unlocked as you progress. Modifications for your weapons, new skins, trinkets and other items are all collectable and can be applied to your character before each mission.
In the current builds, your character is limited to just one avatar – a woman – but the developer (just one man, Paul Schneider) promises that there is more to come. Paul is presumably well tuned into his target audience, as the female avatar in the game wears a tight blue jumpsuit style outfit and not much else. Personally, if I was developing an early access title like this, I would focus on developing the content of the game rather than adding fripperies like “boob jiggle” physics for the female avatar, but never mind.
Audio in the game is reasonable. There’s some suitable “trance” style music that plays during each mission, and the sound effects within the game are decent enough too – for example, the shotgun makes a suitably beefy sound when fired.
However, the audio – much like the rest of the game, in fact – quickly becomes very repetitive, and dare I say it… boring! I suppose this is symptomatic of it being an Early Access title, but strictly speaking once you’ve been through a couple of the missions, the chances are you’ve seen everything the game currently has to offer.
There’s recently been a flurry of activity from the developer with several updates being released in quick succession, but nothing of any huge substance has been added and I only hope that Paul continues to develop this game into something more than it currently is. It has potential, but currently it doesn’t live up to it.

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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