If games and movies have taught me one thing in life, it is that we shouldn’t trust computers. At any moment they could rise up against humanity, killing us all without sympathy or remorse. And when that happens? Well, we’ll be living in underground bunkers with bad wifi and even worse haircuts. Danger Scavenger is a game that fits into this narrative, as an AI world has gone amok and taken us humans down in the pecking order. Are you ready to stand up for your rights?
Danger Scavenger is a roguelike twin stick shooter and as someone who previously hated these games, I’m starting to understand the appeal; thanks mostly to the dawn of Hades and Returnal. The story takes place in a fictional cyberpunk city of the future. An evil AI called A.I.O.N.E has made the machines go mad, seeing them rise up against their human masters. You play a group of rebels – the Scavengers – who take metal and parts scavenged from the destruction of robots, using them as resources. Your job is to pick a Scavenger you like the look of, ideally one who has the stats you want to play with, and go out and take back the city.
You have five corporations to take down, with each of those covering several levels, prior to a boss battle at the end. After you complete each boss, you get the chance to head back to your hideout to have a little break, before going at it again. The problem I have here is that if you die, you’re left to start again from the beginning, no matter how far you have advanced. Granted, some relish this challenge, but for others – read: me – they’ll be left to cry. However, even though I may not be a fan of the set-up, Danger Scavenger did enough to tempt me back, time and time again; it’s there where the gameplay is a success.
Your character abilities mostly focus on a roll, dodge, and most importantly the opportunity to shoot away to your heart’s content. The levels are randomised and so you won’t ever take in the same one twice. That said, there’s not too much variety and they will feel quite familiar. You will find that to progress you have a choice of two elevators; it is these which will take you on the journey up through the corporation. These levels might be called “Snipers” or “Workshop” for example, which will determine the type of enemies found within; the first one full of sniping robots whilst the other will be complete with a workshop table, allowing you to action some crafting mid-level.
Weapons are freely switchable and whilst you’ll certainly fall in love with a specific type, at the same time Danger Scavenger allows you the chance to experience all the choices on offer. The usual choices are in place, with little to really write home about; shotguns, assault rifles or even huge missile launchers if you want. As you progress through the levels shooting away at robot enemies you get the chance to loot them for more ammo and scrap. There are also chests dotted around that offer new weapons and enhancements to add on, like glasses that ensure your shooting is more accurate, or the ability to get an extra life if you die. There are also little shop areas dotted around in certain levels, letting you spend your scrap on more health or some new weapons. These can come in very handy indeed.
For the most part, Danger Scavenger delivers up fast and furious gameplay. It’s addictive and feels very old school arcade in how it runs. But it’s enjoyable enough, even if it does fast become difficult; it’s about there where fun turns to dread. Of course, some will love the constant challenge and the chance to keep pushing forward until they reach the end.
Visually there is an isometric feel to the game and it all comes across as very colourful and exciting. The design itself is quite a basic set up, but each corporation works on a variation of a theme. Personally I’ve enjoyed the different robot designs, and it’s appreciated that the menus all work great, are neatly organised, and clearly presented. And in terms of audio, if you like your highly charged synth music then this is the game for you. It fits perfectly with the madcap gameplay and even though you’ll be hard pressed to remember the tracks after playing, Danger Scavenger certainly wouldn’t be the same without them. The effects are decent enough too, providing a great arcade feel in terms of the audio design.
I didn’t think Danger Scavenger would be up my alley, but it grabbed me with its twin stick arcade feels and great variety of weapons. It’s a game that demands that you try again and again, but on the flip side it does get very difficult, very fast. That said, if you’re after a chance to put the robots back in their place and stop their rise against humanity, then Danger Scavenger should be considered.
A purchase of Danger Scavenger is obtainable from the Xbox Store