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E3 11; Awesomenauts preview – Just how awesome is it?

Submitted by on Wednesday, 15 June 2011No Comment

Prepare to take a trip down memory lane as you travel back into the 80s with Awesomenauts, a retro 16-bit multiplayer online battle arena influenced by our favorite cartoon titles of old. Developed by Romino Games, this downloadable title lets players take control of various wacky characters as they are pitted against one another in one giant area.

But just how awesome is Awesomenauts? We got some hands-on time with the game at E3 to find out.

If you’re not familiar with the MOBA genre, gameplay is rather simple. Two teams battle against each other in an attempt to reach the other team’s core and claim victory over all. In Awesomenauts, that requires you to destroy four defense towers scattered across a three tiered map.

Players can select one of many cartoony characters. In the demo we played, only three were unlocked; a cowboy, a monkey, and a robot, each with their own unique abilities and attacks. We picked the robot that has the ability to explode and deal huge chunks of damage. Up to four people can be on one team with empty spaces replaced by bots. Unfortunately, we were told that this was local only.

But what about the multiplayer aspect you ask? The way Awesomenauts works is that matches are played online with your opponents being other players. If there are no people online, then bots take their place until someone comes along and joins. According to Romino, the execution is seamless, and it’s as easy a pressing a button to join a game.

Once you’re in a game, each character has four special moves mapped to the face buttons that they can perform. Our robot friend can fire cannon blasts as his regular attack and then has a self destructing blast for a little extra punch. These attacks, along with other health abilities, etc. can be upgraded in the in-game shop as well.

In addition to your meaty characters, there are tiny AI machines that help destroy the enemy’s defenses. If you manage to destroy one of their towers, you’ll gain more AI bots. Health items and currency are spread across the map so feel free to do some exploring and let them handle the heavy lifting.

From what we’ve seen so far, Awesomenauts looks and plays similar to Romino’s other downloadable title, Swords and Soldiers. Personally I feel as if the battle system is a little to slow, but with a few adjustments, Awesomenauts can be one awesome addition to your digital library.