Pedal to the metal!
Title: Double Kick Heroes
Platform: Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PC, and Xbox One
Developer: Headbang Club
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Release date: Out Now
tl;dr: Rhythm based game for metalheads!
Price: £20 / $22
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Double Kick Heroes is a metal rhythm game set in an apocalyptic world where your band, aboard the Gundillac, must go on a road trip across the wasteland while killing every zombie trying to catch up and eat your brains.
Double Kick Heroes is a unique take on the rhythm genre. As you ride around your Gundillac, you alternate high and low guns (at first) by pressing the corresponding button. Pressing the button for the high gun will shoot higher up enemies and the low gun will shoot enemies closer to the bottom of the screen. But you can’t just fire as will. As with any rhythm-based games, you need to time your shots as the small square fits inside the larger square area. The closer you are to the middle, the higher the grade for the note.
At the top of each level, you have a miniature representation of the road so you can keep track of your progress as things get more hectic, it can be interesting to see your progress and how much of the road you have left. Oddly enough, it’s also kinda strange that you can finish a level before the song reaches its natural; namely boss levels. The level ends once the boss is dead no matter how far you are from the end of the song.
As with any rhythm games, racking up a combo is vital if you want to win. In this game, racking up a combo allows you to automatically use stronger weapons. At first, you start with a basic gun but get your combo up and you get a shotgun and then reaching an 8x combo allows you to use the grenade launcher for more damage. Despite its linear concept, the game will sometimes have unclear objectives which will require players to back track to previous safe areas in order to discuss with your band members and find out what’s next.
As you progress through the game, the challenge increases progressively. While you first start with 2 weapons which are represented by the drum pedal, a snare is added into the mix which after a while allows players to fire a grenade. It becomes very tricky to keep a perfect combo as both high and low firearms are now on the same line while the snare takes the upper line. Trying to juggle this type of button combination can get confusing at times.
The main problem with this game is that it’s not well-timed most of the time. Seeing as you can shoot only when notes appear at the bottom, oftentimes you’ll either have a bevy of notes to match but no enemies or the complete opposite where you’ll have enemies barring down on you, but no notes thus not being able to shoot.
Double Kick Heroes features 16-bit retro visuals that go hand in hand with the game’s quirky cast of characters. Enemies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes (including zombified chickens!), but the fact that you have to keep an eye at the bottom of the screen makes it difficult to pay attention to the horde of enemies. The soundtrack spans a variety of metal/hard rock sub-genres. Fan of heavy music will definitely appreciate this gem.
Double Kick Heroes is a great and quite unique addition to the rhythm-based genre. It’s fun, intense and addictive. Obviously, the big addendum here is the hard rock/metal centric soundtrack as it’s not a musical genre for everyone. Those who give it a shot will find a challenging and addictive survival/rhythm game.
- Unique rhythm game.
- Great hard rock soundtrack.
- Notes aren’t always synched properly with enemy waves.
Double Kick Heroes is rated T for Teen and PEGI 12 due to the presence of crude humor, fantasy violence, mild blood and suggestive themes.
This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher