Assault Spy – Review [Steam]
Product provided by NIS America!
Assault Spy is an interesting take on the hack-and-slash genre and focuses the story on 1 of 2 characters, Asaru – a corporate spy – or you can play as Amelia – a CIA agent. As of right now, only Asaru can be played, due to the fact is currently available on the Early Access on Steam. Due to the incomplete nature of the game, there’s only so much that can be said and done about it, so at the time of writing not everything is going to be perfect or necessarily set in stone, so do keep that in mind before reading on.
Let’s start off with the most noticeable part of any game, the visuals. With Assault Spy, the visuals are somewhat of a mixed bag, as they aren’t exactly perfect across the board. What is meant by this is that some areas of the game, such as the enemy design are funky robots turned death machines and are a really nice change from the usual suspect of enemies. On the flipside, though, the 3D models for the characters feel somewhat stiff and their animations aren’t exactly incredible. While the attack animations do like nice, the character models themselves still leave a lot to be desired. Once again, though, the character portraits have an incredible anime-style to them that give each character their own sort of charisma, it’s just a shame the models don’t have the same detail.
Moving onto the story, as of right now there isn’t too much to go on. Since the only character available right now is Asaru, he’s the only story that we’ve got to go on at the moment. With Asaru, he plays the role of a corporate spy who has been tasked with sneaking into the Negabot corporation and stealing their secrets, which have yet to be revealed on what they even are. Once entering the building, it turns out some terrorist organisation has taken over the Negabot corporation and your new task is to save it from the ground up. As of right now there isn’t much to go on, but the hope is the story becomes a little more intriguing and in-depth as you head further into the story.
The gameplay with Assault Spy is your typical hack-and-slash affair, with a couple of slight changes here and there to make things interesting. First of all, whenever you enter a new arena, all enemies in the room lock onto your character at all times, regardless on whether they’re melee or ranged. With the ranged units their shots are particularly fast and quite damaging as you only have 5 hit-points, so a great way to avoid the damage is to take cover. In nearly all of the arenas you enter there will be plenty of cover for you to duck behind, allowing you to avoid damage. With this addition, it gives you the perfect excuse to play between both aggression and caution. On top of this, there is also an assist attack that can either be used as a distraction or as an attack, either for an initial hit or a combo extender.
With the general gameplay, however, you start off doing the same couple of moves for a little while, as there’s the option to buy new skills, just like in a Devil May Cry game. Just like in any good hack-and-slash game, you can create your own combos and extend them as much as you can manage, but unfortunately, as of right now there aren’t too many extra moves to pick and choose from, which is a shame. As of right now the whole combat system does seem rather basic, but that’s in the hopes that the game is still very much in Early Access and not even close to completion, so we’ll have to wait and see on how it pans out.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with the game at the moment is the bugs. It’s only been out on Steam for a couple of days now, but the bugs you come across are relatively irritating. For instance, whenever you enter a new room, most of the time you won’t be able to move, no matter how hard you try, unless you press the dash button. The game’s framerate is also a problem, due to optimisation, but again, hopefully that’s something that will be fixed in the near future.
Overall, Assault Spy at the moment is rather bugged and incredibly short, with the story only being a maximum of an hour long at the moment, since it isn’t finished yet. From what can be gathered, Assault Spy is going to be a fun character-action game and has the framework for it, but it just isn’t quite there yet. For anyone interested in the game, pick it up and try it out, as it’s only going to get better the further on development it becomes, but just be aware that it could take a little time before it gets to that point. Either way, though, with a little bit of work, Assault Spy could definitely be worth the wait for fans of the genre.