Development company System Erasure released ZeroRanger on Steam.
System Erasure is a collaboration between Eero Lahtinen and Antti Ukkola, two indie gamedevguys from Finland with a solemn duty of making games that are something else. And boy is ZeroRanger something else!
The story of the game is simpel, yet open for lots of surprises:
“A menacing alien threat, GREEN ORANGE, has begun its invasion. Only two secondary fighters remain against complete annihilation. Blast your way through enemy forces in order to unleash your fighter’s latent potential, unlocking new weapons and abilities. But as you grow stronger, so does your understanding of the true nature of your adversary…”
The backgrounds are animated, nicely detailed and vary greatly between levels, the ship also flies under clouds, debris is falling of shot enemies, all this gives you the feeling you are really travelling around in a larger world of which you are really part of. During a level you can be warped to places, which keeps the game dynamic.
During the game you see influences from other games. I bet these guys are fan of CAVE, when you start the game you see a scene where birds flee away while your ship appears, it’s similar to ESP RA.DE; another recognisable item are the cutscenes that give the game the story elements – which is a very welcome addition.
The audio is good, the background music score fits the style of the game perfectly and is quite diverse. Though it does not always match the activities on the screen, but you hardly would be bothered by this during the gameplay 🙂
The sound effects are great and are as you would expect; explosions are impressive and full. You ships bullets are satisfyingly audibly fly out of your turrets.
The pace of the game is fast, enemies are plenty and try their best to kill you, though they do not seem to change course to hit you. The screen will never be fully loaded with bullets, but the difficulty level is fittingly unforgiving.
Your main arsenal is the turret and alternatively you have self-homing-laser-beam (long and short), a back-tail fire and cicle-saw available. Limited upgrades are available as you progress.
The bosses are big, scary and cool! Some are truely original – such as the snake curling around the tower.
The game has 4 stages, which seem a bit short. Hopefully it will be extended in the future. The game is of such high quality, it would fit perfectly in the arcade. I would not be surprised if they are going to work on a version for the ExA Arcadia system.
Like all respectable shmups, the game also supports TATE!