Project Root is the first title from Argentine based Indie Developer OPQAM. In their first outing on PS4 and PSVita Project Root is a free roaming top down shooter where it takes a modern take on a classic shoot em genre. Shoot Em Up’s and PS4 have meant usually great things can Project Root add to a great library on PS4? Find out in our full review below.
In many ways Project Root has a deeper undercurrent in its story focusing on taking down an ever expanding world leading energy corporation. Its an appealing story line who wouldn’t want to head out into a space ship and fire some heavy rockets or machine gun fire at some of the worlds biggest energy suppliers? Its a simple story setup man vs corporation and corporation must be destroyed. However in playing Project Root the story became completely irrelevant and it didn’t feel anything like taking down a giant corporate juggernaut and more a kin to firing at some military depots like those old classics titles such as Dessert Strike video below for the younger generation.
Even if I wanted to keep up with the narrative in this game the developers made it a pretty tough task. With little to no voice over and simply a dialogue box in the lower right hand corner it was simply far easier to ignore and wiser! Attempting to read the rather boring and soulless dialogue would likely see yourself killed or at the very least take a few swift hits. Thankfully the gameplay is slick and simplistic enough to not really care about the story and the simple premise of shooting enemies both in the air and on the ground is simple to master.
To help you get into the swing quickly there is a tutorial level which is basic and shows the controls you need to get going. The view is top down and allows a nice view of the map however the map size is huge in each mission with little pointers to direct you ( or ones which are not clear). I would have liked to have seen the developer do more with this and offer options to zoom in and out see a bigger mini map and offer to set waypoints for objectives. Unfortunately these were vacant and as a result I found myself in a world of confusion for the first few missions as I attempted to find my way.
The pace of the game is pretty relentless and doesn’t offer much of a learning curve with its basic tutorial. Figuring out what you can actually fire at and destroy is a mission in itself and not clear atall. In fact I found myself wandering aimlessly in the first mission due to missing the dialogue box in the lower right which is distracting and completely destroys any immersion I had in the game. Missions are setup as simple objectives but they never appear to evolve beyond a far to simple mechanic of go her and shoot this. It’s fun at first and the gameplay is nice and smooth with the aircraft controls easy to master but the repetitive nature of this game lost its appeal on me very fast. The game deserved to have more variety and perhaps a story that would interest me to see it through to conclusion would help when the gameplay is so repetitive.
Repetitive is also something we found with the game soundtrack simple and monotonous tunes only added to the frustration of slogging my way through each level. Thankfully being on PS4 I can rectify this with some Spotify playlists but on the PSVita your not so lucky. One element I did like in this game was its ability to offer upgrades to weapons and ships as you complete levels and this adds a bit of variety to the gameplay but with the missions never deviating in style there’s very little cosmetic changes can do to improve on the gameplay front.
Playing on the PSVita did feel a bit more enjoyable and I believe this games target audience is most likely on that platform rather than the PS4. the analogue sticks on the Vita feel ideal for the style of game it is and with it not using all the buttons on the dualshock 4 the PSVita offers a better form factor to experience the gameplay. Of Course this title is cross buy so if you do buy this on PS4 then its yours to own on PSVita as well.
Overall I found my time with Project Root deeply disappointing, i wanted so much more from a reimagining of this classic genre but Im afraid the classics still hold up all to well in comparison to this repetitive and uninspiring title.
Project Root was reviewed on PS4 with a review code supplied by the developer.
One to avoid I'm afraid unless you like terrible narrative uninspiring missions and a tunes to make your head pop rather than bop.
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