Stealthy Twin Stick Multiplayer Shooter
If you took your favorite twin stick shooter and made it a competitive multiplayer experience with a slight Spy Vs Spy theme, you would get something like At Sundown: Shots in the Dark. While there can be some intense local and online multiplayer moments, single player gamers will want to look elsewhere.
From a top down view, At Sundown plays like any other twin stick shooter, using the left analog stick to move, the right to aim, and some trigger buttons to shoot/dodge. While this might be typical, this action game puts a major focus on stealth as characters can only be seen when standing in light or when weapons flash their fire. Combined with one hit kills and maze like stages, gameplay is usually fast, unexpected, and exciting.
Deathmatch includes multiple characters which are essentially color swapped clones but players can select from a variety of different weapons, each with a secondary fire mechanic. For example, the shotgun is powerful at close range, has two shots available, or can use one big shot as the alt fire. The sniper rifle can shoot through multiple targets, has the longest reach, but takes a while to reload. At the time of this review, there were not many people playing online as we received an early review code but only time will tell if all the weapons remain balanced.
Thankfully, multiplayer can be played locally or online. Since the entire gimmick is trying to remain hidden from sight, you can’t spoil gameplay like the olden days of GoldenEye 007 by looking at someone else’s screen when played locally. However, there isn’t much to do in terms of single player. In fact, the only single player option is play limited trial runs as challenges for each weapon. There are no local bots to play against so you will need extras humans for any multiplayer component.
At Sundown is one of those games you want to play when you have 10-15 minutes to waste. There is strategy to be successful, as staying hidden from your opponent to unleash a surprise attack takes some planning and patience since you cannot even see yourself, but you can still jump in like a total n00b and shoot wildly in hopes of getting lucky. It is easy to play but pros can still master it if they want. Not much in terms of visuals, as you don’t even see your hidden character most of the time, but the overall package can create some entertainment value for those looking for a new spin on the twin stick shooter.
Not As Good As: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Better Than: Geometry Wars 3
Also Try: the 2-player link cable mode in Metal Gear Solid on Gameboy Color