Circuit Breakers is a fast-paced multi-player top down shoot ’em up where you can get together with five of your friends ( or alone like I did ) and fight to rid the universe of an intergalactic robot army or compete against them and rid the universe of each other! Far in the future, advances in artificial intelligence have created the first truly sapient AI, FIRST- short for First Intelligent Robotic System model Two- system. Fearing for it’s safety in a galaxy of savage humans, FIRST escaped to the depths of space. On a distant planet it finally landed, building an army for their inevitable return…
So, you find yourself on a rainy day with nowhere to go and nothing to play because your 100 + uncompleted games is just too much responsible right now and in a world increasingly dominated by time-consuming, social-life ruining games, it can sometimes be fun to hop into a mindless shooting arcade style battle. This game is a simple top down shoot ‘ em up where you can play one of the characters so creatively named as Samson, Tay, Aldo and Shelby. You encounter robots coming at you from left and right which for some time, and until you get used to the controls, can be a little overwhelming. Each character comes equipped with their own weapon which includes an arsenal of shotguns, lasers and even rocket launchers! Even though I have a vast array of choices, I found myself sticking with Aldo’s machine gun due to the rapid speed and movement I could endure while trying to avoid those pesky robots.
I also found the other weapons not as actuate and a little clunky. As you fiercely pew-pew your way to staying alive, robots drop crystals that you collect which make your weapon stronger. There is a catch with this though, isn’t there always? Use too many bullets and you’ll lose the power-up weapon hence losing the tactical advantage and now making it way more intense to stay alive through the horde. My main issue with Circuit Breakers is the controls. Even though they are quite responsive, it feels rather awkward when you have to press triangle to shoot robots coming from the top, square for the left invasion, circle for the right and so on. A simple thumb stick turn and shoot would have been more than adequate.
As stated in the intro, I played this solo and did have some fun with it, but I think it would be much more interesting playing with your friends and thankfully the developers added this feature because I don’t think you’d get very far in this game alone. It doesn’t however have online co-op which again would improve gameplay massively here.
Other than the vibrant colour blasts coming from your weapon of choice and the splash boom when you kill a robot, the graphics are very simple and underwhelming. As much as I love the old school game play, all the different stages starting to blur together. Even the boss fights were nothing different to the previous levels and were very repetitive. There were lots of large open dull gray areas with nothing to really offer in the way of colour and varity…just empty useless space that could have been much better utilised.
The music is great for the first 10 minutes but after that, it makes you want to rip your ear drums out as it’s the same beat over and over again. Having over 30 tracks is a nice touch, but most of the tracks are pretty dull and sound the same. Again, the problem keeps cropping up in this game where given a bit more variety, it would be a much better all-rounder.
I would try this game again with some friends for a short time as I think this is where the fun is. Solo play gets repetitive very fast due to the lack of stimulation it has to offer and the levels being pretty much all the same. Saying that I did enjoy the concept and the nostalgic feeling it has, it brought back some good arcade memories and something most people who enjoyed that era of gaming will enjoy for an hour or two solo, but don’t hold your breath for any longer than that.
Circuit Breakers receives a, mediocre room for improvement, Bronze Thumb Culture Award with 5/10
Disclaimer: We were provided with a code to complete this review.