By Sean Willett
Before anything else is said, it should be noted that Awesomenauts, the second title from Ronimo Games, features the worst voice actor I have ever heard. While most of the voice work ranges from competent to excellent, the voice actor for Lonestar, the game’s cowboy-themed hero, seems to be trying to win a shrieking match against a flock of parrots. I’m not sure what this person thinks cowboys are supposed to sound like, but his attempt to portray a hardened sheriff comes across as insufferably annoying.
Thankfully, aside from some unfortunate casting, there is very little wrong with Awesomenauts. An action real-time strategy game (ARTS) in the vein of League of Legends, Awesomenauts adds a new spin to the genre by choosing a 2-D platforming perspective instead of the traditional 3-D top-down view. The result is a more action-oriented experience that still retains all of the strategic elements that define the ARTS genre.
This is a game that requires a significant level of skill in order to stay competitive, which can be a major barrier to entry for new players. Although the tutorial does an excellent job of explaining the basics, new players can still expect to lose their first few matches as they refine their strategy.
Featuring a vibrant cartoon art style and a cast of colourful, charming characters, Awesomenauts may be the most aesthetically pleasing ARTS to date. This strong visual direction is accompanied by an upbeat electronic soundtrack that effectively sets the tone for the fast-paced gameplay.
While the unique shift in perspective and cartoony aesthetics set Awesomenauts apart, it is still an ARTS through and through and people looking for a radical departure from the genre will be disappointed by what they find.
However, if you are looking for something a little different from the ordinary — and can put up with a little bad voice acting — then don’t hesitate to download it on the XBLA or the PSN.