Coverage: Not A Hero Announced

By Alice O'Connor on March 31st, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

No more heroes anymore

London lot Roll7’s side-on shooter Not A Hero was given a formal announcement and grand unveiling at EGX Rezzed this weekend, perhaps not coincidentally opposite the Hotline Miami 2 booth. Oh, but to compare the two would be lazy. See, while Not A Hero is a point-scoring, man-murdering, pixel-bleeding, die/restart run and gun game, it’s also a cover shooter. Having had a bash myself, I’d say it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Each level drops you near a building with a mission objective such as hacking computers or collecting donuts, all of which is ultimately accomplished by killing men. While a few enemies will fall to simply running and shooting (or slide-kicking them to the ground then finishing them off while vulnerable if you’re particularly bold), you’ll soon need to duck into cover. Rather than simply a place you can heal (though it is that too), the cover’s part of the game’s arcade rhythm. You use the respite to count enemies’ shots and predicts their reloads, when you’ll have a split-second to peg them. They’re watching for yours too, mind, and will creep up to flush you out when you’re out of ammo.

Which is why you’ll want to save powerups. Grenades, drill bombs, flame bullets, and more are awfully welcome mega-killers, but in short supply. The bullets which blow a door off its hinges and send enemies scattering like skittles were a particular favourite of mine, as the mooks can’t see or shoot through doors.

Levels are short and sweet, learned by studying carefully then dying when your plan goes awry. On each level, I’d slowly build a fairly slick sequence of takedowns, becoming increasingly frantic the deeper I got into the not-wholly-known, and always a bit uncertain thanks to a little randomisation. Men murdered, objective completed, and points scored, I’d head back to my transport and into the next level. Fun stuff.

Not A Hero is due this summer on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Like the PC port of Roll7’s sk8r OlliOlli (not to mention Hotline Miami), it’s published by those scamps at Devolver Digital.

It's actually a lot more exciting than this, honestly

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11 Comments »

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  1. whexican says:

    And they say that a hero could save us, I’m not gonna stand here and wait

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    Gap Gen says:

    That’s quite an extreme depiction of the effects of passive smoking.

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    Imaginary Llamas says:

    Wasn’t this game featured many months ago on RPS? Or maybe it was another gaming site. Back then it was titled Ur Not a Hero and had a playable demo, which doesn’t seem to be on the devs site anymore.

    • Ahkey says:

      Couldn’t find any mention on RPS but this looks to be the original alpha: http://goo.gl/ui4Opy

      Am I odd for wanting one of those Time Crisis 3 arcade-style pedals for entering/exiting cover? I loved the physicality of it, and the hand/foot control combo made me feel like I was playing the piano. But, y’know, with more bullets and less strings.

  4. scumblr says:

    Sounds like a more better Blackthorne!

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Not really, Blackthorne was essentially a puzzle-platformer (sometimes called ‘step platformer’), the cover shooting was fairly minor.

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    lowprices says:

    Played this at Rezzed. One of the best games of the show, for my money (If you’re interested, God’s Will Be Watching was my actual GOTS).

  6. Binary77 says:

    This was one of my favourite games at Rezzed, along with Gods Will Be Watching.

    I, too, got confused when finding the alpha of ‘Ur Not A Hero’, but they’re obviously different editions of the same game.

  7. crinkles esq. says:

    Well, I’m not much for these super-gore action games, but I do like the art style.

    But Alice, can a 2D game really be considered a “cover shooter”? Unless I’m missing a gameplay component, it looks like the same thing as ducking behind barrels in Bionic Commando on the NES.

    • The Random One says:

      You take cover while being shot at, it seems to fit the description of cover shooter pretty well. There’s nothing about the genre that requires 3D, although I think this is the first one and it seems to play rather differently.