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Angel at Dusk Review

Angel at Dusk Review

There’s an argument to be made that simplicity is its own reward when it comes to gaming. While the next generation of consoles pushes the ideas of newer, deeper stories and character-driven moments, they can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes, it's nice to just sit down and watch the pixels explode on the screen. This is what I imagine developer Akiragoya was aiming for with their new game, Angel at Dusk.

Angel at Dusk is designed to be like one of those old top-down shooters that were popular back in the day, also known as SHMUP games. The concept is relatively simple: you move up the screen and fire at anything and everything. That’s about as complex as the gameplay really gets, but there is some nuance to getting it right. The game needs to offer upgrades and fair challenges while offering diverse enough challenges to keep the player engaged. So the question is, is this a heavenly adventure, or will it make you a heretic? 

There is the ghost of a plot with this game, essentially mankind has rid the world of all its sins and have transcended to angeldom, however, this time is coming to an end. There’s not really much more to know, and frankly, there’s no reason for the game to have more. You won’t be getting deep character moments or potential romance options here. Your purpose is to shoot things, and that’s all it really needs to be.

On that note, how is the shooting? It’s fine, it works well. You have two modes of fire: a basic rapid-fire shot and a charged shot. There isn’t much that will survive your onslaught, especially as you begin to level up and the guns get more powerful. You will also need to dodge, and this can seem impossible, considering the amount of shots on the screen. However, the guns pull double duty. The charged shot can destroy weaker bullets before they hit you, and you’ll need to use that in later levels to even have a chance of surviving. Also, the closer you are to an enemy, the more health you’ll get back when killing them. It’s a clever little risk-reward system that makes each fight a little more engaging.

You’ll notice I mentioned levelling up the system, and it is there. As you play, you’ll see your ship/angel change and grow, and your weapon will similarly adapt. You can also buy new weapons and consumables to help in your fight. However, after a while, I stopped noticing the change and got more annoyed that it never gets much easier. The problem is that the enemies seem to be scaled, so I don’t know if there was really a point to levelling up as a mechanic. Why not just have the change be based on progress? 

There are two main game modes on offer for the player. The first is an original mode, which is essentially an unlimited run. You keep going forward and upgrading your ship until you die. The second is an arcade mode that offers new ships to upgrade as you progress. It’s a nice offer and does give some variety, but the original mode struggles to keep you invested after a while.

Visually, Angel at Dusk is…distinct. Look, I’ll be honest: the visuals are weird as heck. Imagine if H.R. Geiger decided that angels were more interesting than aliens. If you don’t like his art, don’t play this game. There are some disturbing visuals here and some things that are a little bit haunting. The music is also a bit meh; I don’t think I’d be buying the album. Honestly, the game was more enjoyable when I turned off the music and just played on silent while something else was on the TV.

Angel at Dusk is a bit of a blast from the past, and it isn’t a game for everyone. However, it knows what it wants to be and does that well. It has enough of a visual flair that it might draw in the odd interested party, but it will also suffer from the fact that these kinds of games can be found for free quite easily. I don’t know if it does enough to warrant paying for it due to that fact.

6.00/10 6

Angel at Dusk (Reviewed on Windows)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

Angel at Dusk is a simple and fun game, but the visuals and ease of finding other games like this make it hard to recommend.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Joshua Render

Joshua Render

Staff Writer

Became a writer and all he got was this lousy bio

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