After Wave: Downfall (Xbox One) Review with stream

Instead of flying a spaceship and destroying alien crafts, After Wave: Downfall is a shooter shmup but one that takes place on water rapids. At first, it reminded me of a modern and faster paced take on classic Toobin’ only by traveling up the screen instead of down it but this fluid shooter is action packed, challenging, and loaded with unlockables.

Playable in solo mode or local 2p co-op, Downfall puts players in the watercraft of different characters that each have unique abilities. Holding down the “A” button unleashes a constant wave of satisfying machinegun fire whereas special attacks are on cool down timers. Just because you have access to high powered weaponry doesn’t mean defeating these water-based baddies will be easy.

In fact, this is a rather challenging game but becomes easier the more you grind. Reaching certain points in each stage rewards the player with currency used to unlock new things or enhance existing abilities. There are actually a lot of things to unlock but everything is rather expensive so you’ll need to prioritize choices. It can be frustrating to play a stage for a few minutes, die, and not gain anything though. So you’ll need a mix of practice, skill, and grinding to inch forward to that next checkpoint.

Gameplay can be rather hectic as the screen can be filled with enemies, hazards, and bullets at any given time. Although you’ll die often, it is pretty cool to take down a screen littered with enemies by using a fully stocked super blast. Bosses are also bullet sponge acts of attrition, but local co-op is available if you wanted to tackle the challenge together.

Visually, the generic polygonal figures do not look like a new gen game but the framerate remains fluid and steady.  Also, the default volume levels are very high with no options to lower in-game.  The only option is to turn the sound off completely, not decrease it. Be aware of this if you try and stream this game like I did.

After Wave: Downfall isn’t the best shooter but it is a different type of one. The horizon drop-off on-rails water interface actually makes this shmup unique and the fast-paced action feels right. Just be aware the grind is real and so the difficulty factor.

SCORE: 7/10

Also Play: Spacewing War

Don’t Forget About: Rolling Gunner  

Be Sure To Play: Z-Warp  

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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