Splosion Man is one of the best co op games of this generation and now that I have finished it in hardcore mode I thought I’d write a retrospective of this excellent game.
‘Splosion Man was created by a group of scientists, and the game is about his escape from his creators and captors. The main mechanic of the game is that ‘Splosion Man can only ‘splode three times before he has to recharge either by standing on the floor or sliding down a wall. ‘Sploding is the only tool at your disposal and all of the face buttons make you perform this action. Doing so allows you to jump, double/triple jump, wall jump, ‘splode scientists, ‘splode barrels, attack robots and so on.
Now on it’s own that doesn’t exactly sound that innovative, but the shear difficulty (close to Super Meat Boy levels of difficulty) and fast pace of the rather large levels makes the single player a sheer joy to get through. The well placed checkpoints help make it manageable and reduce some of the frustration.
The co op mode allows up to four players to play through an entirely new set of 50 levels which aren’t featured in the single player game. There are a lot of puzzles that involve players standing on buttons simultaneously in order to continue. But most of the fun of these comes in the difficulty in getting each player to the buttons. If two players ‘splode next to each other they can propel one of the players higher and further than they can travel on their own ‘splosion. This is helped by the ability to start a 3 second countdown that allows you to synch your jumps with the other players.
This doesn’t sound too difficult, but when you throw in rising water and slime levels that give you very limited time and also pair this with set pieces that can involve keeping your timing through multiple jumps, things can quickly deteriorate into a big mess of ‘splosions ending in all players speeding into a wall of spikes.
If you die repeatedly on a level you are given a pop up that asks you if you want to take “The Way Of The Coward” which allows you to skip the level, at the cost of playing the next level wearing a tutu. ‘Splosion Man himself could be annoying for some but I find he has a certain simple charm about him, he doesn’t say a lot but the odd shout of “Get to the choppah” and other movie quotes might annoy some players.
I almost skipped over this game, having played the demo and not felt much that was unique, but I’m so glad that I went back and gave it a second chance as I think it’s one of the best co op games in recent years and well worth a play even in single player mode. I’d stay away from hardcore mode though, as you are likely to throw a controller at your TV screen!