Essentially a Star Wars AT-ST simulator, Be A Walker is a walk-to-the-right-and-blast-anything-that-moves 2D action game. Pitting you against a throng of enemies that literally throw wooden spears at a metal bi-pedal walking tank, there is a hint of Avatar here and is a wonder how feeble weapons can damage your mech at all. Far from immortal, the walker’s physical damage isn’t the only element to manage.
Be A Walker should make the player feel powerful, a dominant force when stacked against natives with pointing sticks, but instead succumbs to tedium and imbalance. When placed in manual mode, movement is a chore as the player needs to activate each leg individually with each step. Although it allows for more accurate control than the user friendly auto mode, both movement options are soiled with a dreary slow pace.
The oxygen meter at the top of the screen is usually the biggest threat, not the bow and arrow shooters on the ground. Constantly depleting, the player has a limited amount of time that can be spent on each mission before suffocating. Enemies can each puncture the O2 tank to increase the speed of the slow leak too. Combined with the slow movement of the walker, managing this meter is stressful and worrisome. Different modes can be activated at will that will determine the rate of oxygen depletion, how fast the walker can move, and weapon cool down speed but all three modes never provide the desired results. With each successful mission, the player is awarded credits that can be spent to upgrade the mech. This RPG mechanic is the main draw the gameplay loop but eventually the player will need to grind to unlock new upgrades due to high cost. Each upgrade is usually minimal at best too.
Even though the player encounters the same enemies types, there is some variety to combat. Occasionally a bomb or enemy will latch onto the top of the walker and the only way to remove it is to shake back and forth to knock it loose. The arrow and spear flingers are nothing too troubling but add up quickly when facing off against a dozen at a time. Luckily, the controls are easy to grasp; move and aim with the analog sticks while using the triggers to fire different weapons. Each weapon has a cool down period, some much longer than others, so it is important to approach each situation is caution.
Unfortunately, there is one game breaking encounter that ruined the entire experience for me. One mission forces the mech to walk through a crowded hanger filled with mechanics and scientists with the goal of reaching the other side. Step on a single one and it is game over with full restart, no checkpoints. This entire mission is total hot garbage as was enough for me to rage quit and delete this game from my console forever. Here, the game forces you to use the manual walking mode to control the exact movements of each leg. Other than this one mission, there is no reason to use the tedious manual mode. In other words, the developers included this stupid mission because they thought “hey, we created this manual mode but no one is going to use it, so let’s create a scenario to force the player to use it so our hard work doesn’t go unused.” Why are all these workers walking around the hanger? Don’t they see a 4-story tall mech about to crush them? Why don’t they get out of the way? Nothing here makes sense and stops the entire experience cold. There are other missions that instruct the player to rescue miners and other workers from the hostile locals. These are just excuses to give the player a reason to shoot something; the player never actually sees any NPCs that need saving. Again, many things don’t make sense.
Be A Walker would have been an average action title at best even if this game breaking hanger mission wasn’t included. Controlling the walker is cool but actually makes the player feel underpowered when they should be wiping the battlefield clean. Although the potential was there to rewrite the Endor battle in favor of the Empire, the player will be super disappointed when Wicket and the rest of the Ewoks will take down giant metal mechs with wooden spears and awful scenario writing.
Not As Good As: Factor 5 Star Wars flight titles
Play It Instead: Zone of the Enders 2: The Second Runner
Wait For It: Titanfall 3