Suiting up as a mercenary member of the Gemini II squad to dive into a mine crawling with alien creatures to harvest precious Viridium sounds sounds right off the back of an ancient cartridge box. That's definitely by design, because B.I.O.T.A is a Metroidvania 'em up with a rather retro face. It's also a shooter with some nice modern concessions like manual saves and teleportation escapes for those of us who have nightmares about the platformers of yore. You can take a shot at it in Biota's demo before it launches in full later this year.
"Players will battle more than 40 types of mutants as one of eight squad members, each with their own unlockable weapons and abilities," say the developers. "Explore the ten different biomes of Frontier Horizon, an asteroid mining base overrun by a mysterious biological organism, on-foot or using one of several vehicles available to discover the source of the infestation."
You can spot all that action down here in Biota's trailer or just take it out for a spin yourself in the demo.
Biota's demo starts you off with an explosive escape level and quite a lot of controller vibration, which is all in good fun in my book. After a bit of exposition, you quickly get dumped out into the first real area, sent down to collect that important energy source Viridium from the overrun mines by killing baddies. You're able to swap between four playable characters nearly off the bat, each with their own special abilities and stats. I opted for the speedy little pal with a land mine ability.
Metroid 'em ups are often the bane of my existence but even I'm a sucker for a swell soundtrack and a color palette swapper. Biota has all that plus some modern niceties. Most important, for my fellow pathetic platformers, is the ability to save just about whenever you like. You can also teleport out of the mines back to base to heal up. It's action-y, but with a bit less pressure than the real classics.