Back in the prime of the Xbox 360, the Indie Games section had a completely different meaning than what your typical Xbox One gamer would probably associate Indie games with today. Nowadays when you think Indie games it can be hard to distinguish just which games fall under the indie bracket, with games like Sniper Elite 4 and Cuphead coming from independent studios, rivalling and even outdoing the quality you see in many triple-A titles of the current generation. In the days of 360 though, the little blue Indie Games section was for those amongst us with that hidden talent, the ability to utilise their creative skills from home, and create a gaming experience for the masses to enjoy through clever use of the Microsoft XNA. It was home to beloved titles such as ApocZ, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and Little Racers Street; a place that enabled those with a love for gaming to express their own visions.
The Creators Collection on Xbox One brings us those same unique creations from the minds of loving gamers, and whilst they may lack online multiplayer as well as the beloved Achievements that Xbox has become so synonymous with over the recent years, it’s fair to say there are many still worthy of some time on the big screen. With Carnage Tower in hand I dived into this recent entry to arrive on Xbox One in order to see just what was on offer.
So, what is Carnage Tower? Well first of all it’s worth noting that it’s a work in progress, that much is made clear from the initial load up screen, but nevertheless the goal is simple. Carnage Tower consists of 100 floors from bottom to top, each one randomly generated. Your goal is to make it through them all and come out the victor. What is there to stop you? Well, the other players of course!
That’s not to say you must play with other players, and should you wish to go it alone, players can choose to go through each of the 100 floors with their gun in hand and only the enemies of each level looking to stop them, but ideally this is a game built for local multiplayer madness to ensue.
Carnage Tower comes from developer Gensart and the idea it’s looking for is that of competitive party play. Within each level, players control their coloured character through the platform levels, with the goal being to reach the elevator to progress. To open the doors however, players must first dispatch of every enemy within the level, some of which will simply come at the enemy at walking speed, whilst others have their own weapons to fire back.
There are two modes to choose from within Carnage Tower: Classic Mode and Party Mode. Classic Mode is simply based on reaching the top of the 100 floors without dying in the process. Party Mode on the other hand is broken down into five unique game types – Bleed, Carnage Combat, Murder Match, Boss Rush and New Floor New Gun.
Bleed sees players take on a constantly diminishing health bar whilst each enemy killed regenerates a small portion of health, and tasks you with clearing the 100 floors. Carnage Combat removes the players ability to shoot, and instead tasks players with clearing all 100 floors with nothing but hand to hand combat – or rather by kicking your enemies in the head! Next up is Murder Match, but at present this appears to be a game that is currently suffering from some development bugs with the game over and finished within 3 seconds and no player input required. Boss Rush sees players take on the 10 floors of bosses from within the 100 floors at level 10, 20, 30 and so on. New Floor New Gun is the final option and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out just what this one wants players to achieve.
It’s worth noting that every mode can be played solo or with up to four players, but either way the difficulty and competitive feel are certainly there. In its present state of course Carnage Tower brings a mixed bag with fluid gunplay but there are plenty of bugs still to iron out, and whilst each level is randomly generated, it seems the items generated are far too similar to provide any real variety in level layout for things to feel all too unique. That said, the foundations are certainly there to create an interesting game and with a bit more polish, this could turn into a memorable Creators Collection title yet.