In our current age of gaming, no genre is more apparent then the cover-based shooter. However, I’ve never played a cover-based shooter quite like Not A Hero. Instead of the usual third person gameplay featured in games such as Gears of War and Uncharted, Not A Hero takes place on a 2D plane. While it may bring unique ideas to the table, its spotty difficulty and an overall lack of replayability make Not A Hero fall short of being a truly great game.
It’s 22 days prior to the big election! BunnyLord, an anthropomorphic purple rabbit from the future, is running as England’s mayoral candidate in order to save the future. To get the votes he needs, BunnyLord sends members of his “BunnyLord Fun Club” to assassinate high-profile members of a local gang, a Drug Ring, and the Yakuza. You, the player, take control of these Fun Club members and go on bite-sized missions to clean up the streets and promote a BunnyLord future.
Not A Hero offers up some really witty comedy, with BunnyLord being the shining star. The dark humor in his monologues before and after levels would constantly make me laugh out loud. The rest of the cast is great too, shouting zany one-liners throughout the 21 levels.
Not A Hero offers up some really comical humor
Not A Hero also boasts some great gameplay. Alongside some commonplace shooting, with a simple press of the X button you’ll do a flashy slide into cover, protecting yourself from enemy fire. Or you can hold your slide and run into enemies, knocking them over and leaving them vulnerable for an execution. While for the majority of the time it’s fast and frantic fun, there are some notable issues with the gameplay. Outside of the slide, you have no real offensive measures when it comes to close quarters combat, making the enemies that can dodge your slide maneuver incredibly frustrating. Not to mention a severe difficulty spike within the last three levels of the game, increasing not only the time spent in a level, but the amount of hard to kill enemies as well.
Not A Hero’s main 21 stages each feature three optional objectives. These can range anywhere from completing the stage in under a designated amount of time, collecting a McGuffin, killing all the enemies, etc. While these objectives can make you want to replay past levels, it’s important to note that in order to 100% a stage all objectives must be completed in one run of the stage.
There just isn’t any reason to replay the levels
Which leads me to my biggest problem with Not A Hero: there just isn’t any reason to replay the levels. The game desperately needed a scoring system akin to Hotline Miami or even developer Roll 7’s very own OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood, where there was a reason to keep playing stages over and over again, for a high score. Finishing Not A Hero didn’t leave me wanting more; it didn’t encourage me to try out new characters, and most of all I felt no need to replay previous levels. There’s no in-game tangible reason to do so, outside of completing the objectives. For a game that is designed around short, quick levels, it has no real replay value, which is detrimental to the game as a whole.
Overall, Not A Hero is a flawed game with great ideas. The gameplay is an interesting mix of popular genres, with stellar pixel art, catchy electronic tunes, and an entertaining protagonist in BunnyLord. However, it’s the lack of any replay value to Not A Hero that brings down the whole experience.