Battle Planet – Judgement Day is a planetary rogue-lite top-down shooter. You are one of the universe’s 3 most wanted criminals on the run, fighting your way through hordes of aliens, military and police units. There is only one way to reclaim your freedom – destroy them all…
Top-down shooters and beat em ups don’t set the bar as high as some of the more elaborate genres, instead, they tend to satisfy a more primal itch. Straight forward mayhem and destruction, with very little need for uber grand dexterity, complex puzzle-solving skills, or even a mid-range attention span.
Stick shooters like Battle Planet: Judgement Day are probably seeing some of their last years of new title releases, due to the huge rise in popularity of fps and RPG games over the last 2 decades it would seem like a safe assumption that this genre would only be revisited by indie developers, with the AAA studios focusing more on a market with strong revenue streams produced by microtransactions, season passes, and subscription services.
So, thank you Threaks, for still believing in the potential of this classic arcade-era style. Battle Planet: Judgement Day takes the top-down stick-shooter and nukes it into a gyroscopic hamster ball filled with lava, disgusting creatures and wave after wave of a galactic police force of sorts.
You play one of three criminals who have survived the crash of your prisoner transport ship, leaving you to splatter and spray your way to freedom. Scavenging health and weapons during short waves, you will be faced with varying objectives that seem to alternate at random, such as Eliminate all Enemies, Survive the attack, or Defuse all Bombs, Solar Storm, and more.
Running around on a rotating axis makes the entire experience feel very smooth, never allowing your view of the character to be off-center or obscured. But, when you are trying to stand in a small circle around a bomb long enough for it to defuse, it makes for a pretty intense showdown when swarms of life forms surround you, venom is spat by giant tick-like thingies, and robots spray an entire arsenal your way.
Our three characters are unlocked at different intervals after reaching a certain percentage of completion on a run. Each character utilizes a different special ability associated with their Jetpack. And, of course, each of these characters has a bunch of perma-upgrades that will see you slabbing more meat than lion in a delicatesan.
Oh, and there are Boss Fights at different intervals to further shake up the randomized waves. Just when you are catching your breath from some of the more severe swarms, be ready to bring your A-game because each boss is very well armored and extremely aggressive. With permadeath being a staple of wave-based level progression, one false move can send you back to the menu. Like falling into a lava pit created when failing to defuse a bomb…
Replayability is often the killer with a video game like this, and eventually, players grow tired of the repetitive grind. Battle Planet: Judgement Day navigates around that iceberg by offering unlockable characters, with only one available to begin with. You can also make upgrades to each character, weapon, and item which will carry over into your future runs.
On top of these Biotech Upgrades, as they are called, you can also select perks throughout your progression, but these are relinquished when you eventually die, however.
The combination of these extra bits and pieces as well as the character’s different abilities and personality, make Battle Planet: Judgement Day a game that can be rinsed and repeated a few more times than your Joe Average stick-shooter.