This title is exclusive to PC and was previewed as such.
Everyone must have played one game where you have a spaceship and you fight waves of enemies while dodging bullets. Growing up, I’ve played lots and even though I wasn’t the best, I enjoyed them. Zeon 25 proved even more how much I sucked, even though it was just a little different than what I was used to.
Zeon 25 is still in its Early Access phase, so its story isn’t fully worked on or implemented. You play a Corporal who has just escaped a prison, and events in the story occur as you progress in levels. Story and timeline isn’t usually the first thing you focus on in shoot’em up games, but the effort that the devs have made is certainly appreciated.
The game is designed in a 16-bit pixel art style, every single asset is well-detailed and shaded, but I still couldn’t help but feel like the screen was blurry. The colors are good and bright, except for the first level where I’d miss an HP bonus or get hit by a satellite just because I couldn’t see them well enough. The bigger problem though, is the interface. In a shooter game, you expect the interface to be as simple as it can get: an HP Bar, shield representation, weapons, and money count. This was not the case though. The HP is a number instead of a bar, which irritated me because I couldn’t check my health without losing focus. There are too many unnecessary details too; I know it’s supposed to be like an aircraft’s console, but it could have been better. I also wish the soundtrack was more exciting and involving; the sound effects too, because the gameplay quickly becomes tedious after a few minutes.
Zeon 25’s gameplay is pretty simple. You have a spaceship that you move with your cursor, and enemies to shoot with your big weapons. Every level has three waves, and every two levels features a boss on the last wave. Each enemy has unique HP, weapon, and pattern, so you better have a good memory, because there are lots of enemies. You should make sure you kill them all though, so that you can earn money to upgrade your spaceship, buy weapons for it, or just buy a fancy skin to show-off. You can play either story mode, or Blood Rain mode, which is basically endless.
I think Zeon 25 could wait a bit more before final release. It clearly has potential to break the market for shoot’em ups, especially with its unusual story aspect and its good art. I just hope they can fix the issues first.