Awesomenauts Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS4PS3PC
Awesomenauts screenshot
Awesomenauts screenshot

At Gamescom 2011, Valve hosted a DOTA 2 tournament that boasted one million dollars in prize money. Couple this with the eSports success of League of Legends and it's clear the blossoming multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre has become a driving force in competitive gaming. Awesomenauts, from Ronimo Games, is the first successful attempt to bring this emerging genre to consoles.

Awesomenauts eschews the genre's real-time strategy origins and top-down perspective in favour of a more console-friendly side-scrolling aesthetic. Despite this fundamental change, the game will still feel very familiar to MOBA players - two teams of players (preferably human, but there are bots available in practice mode) try to destroy each other's base by knocking down a path of turrets with the help of a regenerating stream of fragile minions.

You'll take the role of one of six mercenaries - those eponymous awesomenauts - which include a French chameleon with a sword for an arm, an ageing trigger-happy cowboy and a monkey with a jetpack. Each of these characters plays very differently, with their own unique skills and personalities. Kill the other players and their minions and collect the resulting currency to upgrade your character back at base. Lather, rinse, repeat until one team manages to destroy the other's base. It's a really simple premise that has absolutely no right being as fun as it is.

A colourful cartoon aesthetic only adds to the charm. Awesomenauts is a very pretty game with an art style that, even when things get hectic, makes it easy to keep track of what's happening on the screen, even when it's filled with massive explosions, raging bulls and myriad other character abilities.

While there are only three different stages in which to play, they differ enough to require you to rework your tactics for each match; taking a chance to grab some cash above a giant worm's pit in one level could be a risky move, for example, as other players can flick a switch which lets the killer worm loose.

A short tutorial helps to guide new players and introduce the game's unique features. The full suite of characters and upgrades are drip-fed to players as they level-up, which helps make the potentially complicated tiers of abilities and items easier to digest.

Awesomenauts screenshot

For an online-only title, though, the fact plenty of people are currently reporting dropped connections and crashes isn't great. Especially when you consider that experience points are handed out only after a match has finished. It's a testament to the quality of the game, then, that even despite this, along with a crash to the dashboard which corrupted my save and reset my progress, I remain completely hooked.

Awesomenauts is a fascinating first step in bringing the MOBA genre to console. Not only is it a successful proof of concept, but it's also a tremendously fun and addictive game in its own right. Hopefully, the online play issues will all be ironed out soon and the game can live up to its full potential. In the meantime it's still definitely worth a look, especially if you're interested in something a little different.

Version tested: Xbox 360.

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6 Comments

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reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ Graboot

Thirded, great read and looking forward to the future of VG podcasting :)
Posted 18:44 on 11 May 2012
jc_boy00's Avatar

jc_boy00

Great review dude!

Hmm i was just wondering this sounds like Monday Night Combat (MNC), I thought that was a great game. If you guys like this game definitely check out Super MNC!
Posted 13:13 on 11 May 2012
Graboot's Avatar

Graboot

Nice review; I second getting Jem on the podcast!
Posted 18:32 on 10 May 2012
Endless's Avatar

Endless

I feel this review is about what I got out of the demo, a shallow experience. The demo really needed to give me more than the easiest character class and 2 maps to see what further depth the game had to offer. Especially as the 30 minutes online trial you get lasts approximately 1 or 2 games.

I didn't really see the need to alter strategies at all. Follow droids. Shoot turret till droids dead. Rinse and repeat. Avoiding other players while doing this is easy peasy. Hence the need to see more depth in the demo. Without it it's fun for a bit, but I quickly got bored.
Posted 14:33 on 10 May 2012
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ pblive

YOU NEVER KNOW.
Posted 11:31 on 10 May 2012
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Ahha. Glad to see you reviewing for VG, Jem. Any chance of them getting you on the podcast? Great review too.
Posted 11:28 on 10 May 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Awesomenauts
8
Out of 10
Awesomenauts
  • Addictive
  • Great art style
  • Relatively few levels
  • Flaky online play
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS4 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Ronimo
Publisher: dtp Entertainment AG
Genre: Strategy
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,286 171
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