Warning: Do not watch the enclosed trailer for Ronimo Games’ upcoming Awesomenauts if you dislike songs getting stuck in your head. Also, do not watch this trailer if you dislike being transported to back to a much younger self–a self with his or her elbows propped on shag carpeting, at seven-thirty in the morning, circa 1989.
Let’s get down to brass tacks: Awesomenauts is a self-styled “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena” game from developer Ronimo Games, set to be released later this year through both Xbox Live Arcade and PSN. Ronimo was behind the small but well-received Swords & Soldiers, a side-scrolling RTS originally released through WiiWare.
In Awesomenauts, teams of players choose a number of unique interstellar mercenaries and face off in a side-scrolling, cell-shaded battle royale. Combat is a class-based affair that allows players to use power-ups, rechargeable class abilities, and droppable items. If you get a distinct Saturday-morning cartoon vibe from the game’s E3 trailer (and its kickin’ theme song), you’re on the right track. Ronimo’s mission statement directly singles out 80s cartoon shows as the inspiration for game.
Maybe it’s because I’ve watched it six times now to try and pick out new details, but I have to say this trailer is growing on me. Not only does that mad ear-worm of a theme song evoke the cartoons of yesteryear, but the rather amusing character designs also hail back to childhood kitsch like He-Man and BraveStarr. Space cowboys? Rapper amphibians with bouffant hairdos? Sign me up! The gameplay looks fast, challenging, and deeper than the trailer initially suggests. Depending on how the classes play off one another, Awesomenauts could be the two-dimensional, platformer equivalent of Team Fortress 2.
That said, class-based shooters (even 2D ones) can be tricky to balance correctly, so it will be interesting to see whether Ronimo can make this work. They apparently pulled off an RTS in two dimensions with Swords &Soldiers. Who’s to say they won’t knock it out of the park with Awesomenauts’ team-based competition? No matter what, they’ll have to do something impressive to live up to that theme song.
With no release date yet, we have but this trailer and a lot of screenshots to tide us over until Awesomenauts‘ release. Here’s a few of the latter for the road.
Did you play through all the campaigns in Swords & Soldiers? Are you swayed by the nostalgic sights and sounds of Awesomenauts’ trailer? Lend us your impressions in the comments!
Awesomenauts will be available for download from PSN and Xbox Live Arcade late in 2011.
Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news and updates as E3 2011 continues through the week.