12 is better than 6 Preview
Michael Moffat cocks his six-shooter and heads into the wild west.
Since this was the Kickstarter demo not everything was available, but this will give you some idea about 12 is better than 6 and if you should back it or miss it.
12 is better than 6 developed by Ink Stains Games is a dynamic top down shooter set in the old west. The game started and instantly the music had me, I already felt like I was the man with no name, ready to take on some gringos. The hand drawn old west style looked glorious, but as I took in the art work of the surrounding area and admired my giant sombrero, I was mercilessly gunned down. Now it was on. Time to go Clint Eastwood on their asses.
The demo starts with a really short but effective tutorial, before throwing you very much into the deep end. The story begins with no real character background. No ‘real’ name or why these things are happening to you. All you have is a six-shooter and a destination. And that’s all I needed. A few steps forward and there were enemies on me. Before I knew it there were four of them gunning me down. This game is all about reflexes, timing and occasionally stealth, since it is one bullet one kill, for both me and the gringos.
The artwork in the game is beautiful. The rustic feeling of the old west is achieved with the use of the hand drawn style. The introduction looked like it was plucked from a graphic novel, I really hope to see more story scenes like this throughout the full game. Since it is hand drawn in black and white the splashes (or buckets) of red really make a difference.
A nice thing about 12 is better than 6, mechanically, is the seamless transition between levels. You don’t feel like there is an interruption or long pause between your murderous rampaging. There is the odd character outburst during the game when you kill, reload and die which is nice, giving more depth to the environment rather than everyone being silent through the game. Although there is no dialogue audio, the thought and speech bubbles provide enough story and often act as an alert to know when enemies are looking for you.
What instantly set 12 is better than 6 apart from other top down shooting games, was the feel of the weapons. They actually feel different to each other and since it’s the old west there are no semi-automatic or automatic weapons. If you don’t cock your gun after you shoot it, you’re a dead man. This is where the mouse works beautifully, Left mouse button to fire, Right mouse button to cock and reload. The mechanics are as smooth as a sarsaparilla. The gameplay in general is very tight and well implemented, the movement is fluid and picking up new weapons doesn’t hinder the flow of combat, unless you want to check the weapons ammo by standing and hovering over the weapon. A different aspect altogether is the use of stealth. It is way too dangerous to run in guns blazing all the time. The only way to make it through some areas is by using stealth, in the form of a knife. However this doesn’t work as well as it should since the gringos can hear you when you stealth kill their buddy, sometimes from pretty questionable distances. Not so stealthy after all. This can be pretty frustrating when trying to scout and take it slow, but once you have the lay of the land and enemy locations it can easily be used to lure in unsuspecting enemies.
I never got to spend any of my hard-earned dollars, of which I amassed a fist full. It came from rampaging and ransacking cupboards. I am excited to see what I can buy though, maybe some perks, ammunition or even a new Hat!
The A.I. is clever in the sense that they will go to where they hear the noise, rather than instantly knowing where you are and running you down. This is very helpful when trying to move large groups away from an exit or setting an ambush. Another frustrating element is the dynamite. There are two buttons to throw dynamite, and one of them doesn’t light the fuse! This has often left me in a sorry state after lobbing unlit dynamite through a window at a large group of gringos thinking I had the upper hand, because I pushed the normal fire button. (LMB).
Also tested was the “Rat king perk.” Now this was fun. It’s a rat with dynamite tied to it, essentially being a homing stick of dynamite. The only issue is that it is pretty O.P. (Over-powered) in that if I can see the enemy, regardless of where they are, the rat will find and blow them to beautifully drawn pieces.
Although I only got to play the pre-alpha, it was fantastic and 12 is better than 6 is definitely going to be a real time sink as it’s all too easy to go “I’ll just have another run”. It’s beautifully presented with fantastic hand drawn artwork, has a score that will be a pleasure to listen to and really solid gameplay.
This really deserved to be greenlit on steam as it is a fantastic old west top down shooter. It is definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on as it progresses through development. Head over to the kickstarter page to find out more information on 12 is better than 6.