Some of you will remember 2002's Soldat, a side-scrolling 2D shoot 'em up with multiplayer and jetpacks. You lot might be especially interested in the free demo for Soldat 2, which is the same thing but without the multiplayer. It's being made by Michal Marcinkowski, the same guy who did the original.
I'm not tainted by nostalgia, and I enjoyed myself too. It's pretty good! It makes me miss The Showdown Effect.
It's quite bare-bones, at the moment. There's an endless survival mode and team-based capture the flag, but the AI is so easy to walk over that it's only really worth bothering with the first one. The best part is the "Superman" button, which lets you zoom through the air horizontally. Or, if you are bad at jetpacks, roleplay as a mediocre worm.
The second best part is the auto-GIF button.
Mowing down the AI is fine, but I'm looking forward to gambolling around with human opponents. These slapstick mid-air duels lack tension, and knowing I'm sharing moments with other humans is bound to elevate the silliness.
Multiplayer is slated for the early access release, which will be some point in the next couple of months. A level editor is due later this year, with mod support to follow in 2021. Marcinkowski hopes to launch the full game next spring, when it'll have more weapons and game modes, too.
If you're into this sort of thing, I would recommend The Showdown Effect - except I can't, because it's no longer on sale. That's a great shame, because The Showdown Effect was much the same, only with katanas and environmental weapons. It plonked you into a John Wick style action movie, chucking stools at people, blocking blows with impromptu pillows. The servers are still online for those that already own it, but that's not much use unless you've got friends who do as well.
Here's hoping Soldat 2 doesn't share the same fate. You can grab the free demo from Steam.