Game Play & Mechanics9/10
Visual Style & Quality8/10
- Easy Controls
- Charming Art Style
- Fun Multiplayer Gameplay
- Good Bang for the Buck
- Backgrounds are Repetitive
- Slight Visual Lag in Multiplayer
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You know what? Let me get this right out of the way before I start this review. In this game, you play as a German soldier in World War II, those guys you’ve probably spent a good portion of your gaming life shooting at. Are you still there? Good. Because this game is nothing like what the previous statement would lead you to believe.
Burgers is a side scrolling, action-adventure, multiplayer shoot ’em up. You play as one of a group of soldiers sent to investigate the strange events of a small town. Of course there isn’t a simple explanation, and the soldiers receive an unusual welcome from the townsfolk. Thus begins your adventure.
As a side note, if you’re wondering what any of this has to do with the title, “Burgers,” my guess is that it’s due to Bürger translating from German to mean “citizen”. Think about that next time you order a Quarter Pounder.
Game Play and Mechanics: 9
One thing I have to say I like about Burgers is how easy it is to get into. The mechanics are pretty easy to figure out, it doesn’t take much experimentation to understand the advantages and disadvantages of one weapon over another, and in general the controls are easy to learn. It didn’t take long for me to feel like an expert, although I will say I found using a controller to feel much more natural. One nice feature I appreciate in these types of games is the “Back Up” button. This allows you to back away from an enemy without changing the direction you’re facing, allowing you to somewhat keep your distance after you’ve lined up your shot.
Also, the game features manual reloads. They are quick, but it’s just enough to keep you on your toes. If you just hold down the right trigger and zone out, it’s easy to get yourself killed. If that happens, you might wind up hoping your teammates can handle the situation so you don’t lose your precious XP.
As far as the feel of the gameplay, I’d say it’s in the same vein as Castle Crashers. If you are unfamiliar with that game, well… fix that.
The game features Easy, Normal, and Hard modes, and the number of enemies will scale with how many players there are, an often overlooked feature in my opinion. You begin each game with three weapons, and there may be others you can pick up located in the level as well. I have to say, of these I found the Electric Rifle to be way more satisfying to use than I expected.
Boss Battles were a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I wish there were a few more. On the other hand, I think the amount of Bosses is justified by the low cost of the game, and I found the Bosses to be enjoyable. Each one is different in style, movement, and method of attack, and challenging enough to put my character in jeopardy. So, really, can I justify counting how few bosses there are against the game, when the reality is that I want more of these bosses in particular? Nah. They’re a job well done, and I’m compelled to recognize that.
Each mission rewards you with experience points. As you level up, you unlock quite a few characters and weapons, all featuring different stats that will change up your strategy quite a bit. There is actually a surprising amount of depth to Burgers. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a hardcore game, but the choices in what character and weapons you choose do have a discernible impact on gameplay, and it is possible to find a synergy with your fellow players by combining different characters with different loadouts. I get the feeling that this is exactly what Storm Sharks was going for. An enjoyable adventure that’s easy to pick up and master, and is fun for having a light, fast paced gaming sessions with friends.
Visual Style and Quality: 8
Burgers is cute. There, I said it. You play a cute little German soldier, fighting cute little enemies, that leave behind cute little splattered guts, in a cute little German town. And you know what? I love it. Hey, I’m not made of stone.
All of the art assets are well done, and the simple animation fits the visual style very well. There is also no confusion about what you’re looking at. Soldiers look like soldiers, hay bails look like hay bails, boxes look like boxes, and grotesque saw blade-wielding monsters look just like that thing that lived in the woods behind the house you grew up in that in no way is standing right behind you at this very moment.
There are also little details thrown in. You might pass a soldier receiving CPR from a nurse, only for him to peek while she’s giving him chest compressions. Enemy SS soldiers will duck behind cover while they reload. And good Lawd, that moment when I realized that the head crab-like creatures were crab walking baby monsters!
The different player characters are all pretty distinct too, having not only different heads, but uniforms as well. Props to the developers for including Verena Jund, a strong independent female character that don’t need no man! Judging from her hat, she seems to be a nurse or field medic, but her rugged uniform tells you she’s as ready to throw down as the rest of ’em.
If I have to point out a negative, it’s that the backgrounds and environments seem a little repetitive. After a while everything feels a little samey. (Samey is totally a word. (Friskies Surprise Edit: Samey is not a word.)) Also, some of the cut scenes are placed in completely black backgrounds with a spotlight. Again, they are well done, and I doubt that it’ll bother most players very much.
If Burgers retailed at, say, $15 this might pull the score down a bit more. However, when you consider the price tag of $2.99US on Steam, it seems a lot less unreasonable, and in the end overall quality always trumps quantity.
One last note: Other than the quality setting at the standard Unity launch screen, there are no graphics settings in the options menu. To be fair, I doubt anti-aliasing, motion blur, or dynamic lighting settings would enhance anyone’s gameplay experience.
Sound Quality: 7
All of the sounds and music you hear in Burgers are well done. The music is varied, and honestly a little more hardcore than you’d expect from a game with such cute visuals. Personally I like the juxtaposition of the cute art and animation with a darker, more serious tone in the music. I’m weird like that, and while I understand some might not see it that way, I can’t let the odd mixture drag the score down into the average range, and I hope I’ve explained my reasoning enough that you’ll be able to come to your own conclusion about the music when deciding if you should buy.
As for sound effects, they fit with the art style much better. There isn’t too much variety, but by now you’re probably getting the idea that this isn’t necessary. The game has what it needs, and you can’t ask for more than that.
One thing that I would have liked is the ability to control the music and sound effects volume individually. Again, the options menu is pretty sparse, and in fact there is no volume slider at all.
Story Elements: 8
The story is short, simple, and easy to follow. There is a reason that you are doing what you’re doing, and in the end, an explanation for why everything has happened is given. It’s not Shakespeare, and in this instance I’d be a little annoyed if it was. Side scrolling shoot ’em ups that you can jump into and have fun with a few friends for an hour or so don’t need that.
Multiplayer Elements: 9
Multi-player… Hoo boy! This is where Burgers really shines! I played the entire campaign solo, and then had StarKlaw join me for a second run through. Without a doubt, that second run through was an even bigger blast to play than just going solo. The whole time we were laughing, cracking jokes, and pointing out little touches the developers added in that we might not have spotted otherwise. It makes you wonder why there is no 4-pack available in the Steam store. This is exactly the kind of game a few buddies can whip out when everyone only has an hour or so, and no one wants to try to squeeze a raid into that small span of time.
Again, unlocking new characters and weapons would be enough to inspire multiple play throughs, but Arenas add a lot of gameplay variety to the experience. There are nine different modes in total. I won’t detail each mode here, but I will say that each one is a new take on the gameplay. Electrify mode is an especially satisfying murder fest, as hordes of monsters charge you and your trusty Electric Rifle. Mech mode allows you to put on a battle suit and try to wade through a merciless gauntlet of creatures. 4-Bosses mode is, well, flat out insanity. I love it.
Again, this isn’t hardcore raiding or high level strategy. It’s quick and easy fun with a surprising layer of depth.
The one and only downside we found was a slight bit of visual lag that occurred from time to time while playing in multiplayer. This appears to only be client side, as StarKlaw saw my character jumping around a bit, and I saw the same for him, but neither of us were lagging in our own gameplay.
Fun Factor: 8
Burgers packs a whole lot of fun into three dollars of game. Honestly, I don’t know how else to put it. The game is a fun to play casual shoot ’em up with a charming art style and easy to master gameplay. The only thing that could possibly make it more fun is having more of what it already has, but it’s so packed already.
Seriously, Storm Sharks, ya gotta make a 4-Pack. This is just the kind of game you want to pass out to your friends. Do it. DO IT! Don’t make me send Shia Labeouf after you.
Replay Value: 7
I beat the game once on my own, once with StarKlaw, played many rounds of Arenas, and now wish everyone on my friends list had a copy. This is the type of game you want in your collection for when you need a break from the game you typically go hard on. For me, those games are Warframe and Payday 2 currently. I won’t be playing this all day, everyday, but I will be returning to it a fair bit more than many games in my collection.
I’ll admit it. I really wasn’t ready to like this game nearly as much as I did. Don’t get me wrong, a low price tag doesn’t excuse low quality in my book, but I realize that you can only expect so much from a game that charges three bucks. However, Burgers far exceeded my expectations. All the little graphical touches, the variety of weapons, easy to master controls, varied gameplay, and on and on shows that Storm Sharks cared about the product they made.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get to work unlocking Alexei Belinsky!
BURGERS retails for $2.99US, and is available HERE.