(sharon) #1

20-person developer One More Level is based in Kraków, Poland


God’s Trigger


COWBOYS, LAD’S MAGS AND THE COMING OF THE APOCALYPSE ROBIN VALENTINE


PUBLISHER TECHLAND PUBLISHING / DEVELOPER ONE MORE LEVEL / RELEASE DATE OUT NOW / COST £11.99/$14.99


too stop-start and strategic to be a
casual good time with a friend, with
the speed of encounters making
coordinating effectively tricky. When
going solo, you’re encouraged to
switch between the two characters,
but doing so is too slow to be
worthwhile in a fight, and the
characters simply don’t feel distinct
enough to make swapping between
them meaningful.

Hell no
This awkwardness of design is
reflected, too, in the game’s jumbled
aesthetic. Given the premise, you
might expect to fight the forces of
heaven and hell, but instead your
enemies feel like a random grab-bag
of shooter tropes, including cowboys,
soldiers and gang members. Though
the story does touch a little on more
cosmic domains, for the most part
you’ll find yourself battling through
military bases, bars, dusty desert
towns and, for some reason, a
sprawling medieval cathedral.
Your main foes, the Four Horsemen,
are especially strangely reimagined.

This top-down
shooter revels in its
deadliness. As in
2012 classic Hotline
Miami, the game’s
obvious inspiration,
it only takes one bullet to fell both
you and your enemies, turning combat
encounters into delicate puzzles
where even a single mistake is lethal.
You’d think God’s Trigger’s two
protagonists, being an angel and a
demon, might be a little more durable.
But at least they’ve got a suite of
supernatural powers to draw upon,
from mind control to invisibility, as
they fight to stop the apocalypse.
These ensure you’ve no shortage of
strategic options while figuring out
how to tackle each death-filled room,
and with generous checkpoints and
super fast load times, you never feel
punished for experimenting.
But if anything, God’s Trigger has a
little too much going on. One of Hotline
Miami’s strengths was its minimalism –
there was a purity to its ultraviolence
that’s missing here. We find ourselves
not using our abilities much of the
time, instinctively defaulting to a less-
cluttered style of play instead.
It doesn’t help that the game’s
grasp of the fundamentals is a little
too loose for comfort. Aiming doesn’t
feel anywhere near as tight as it
should for such a precise style of
game, both for firing your weapons
and selecting targets for your powers.
It leads to that most dreaded of
outcomes: losses that feel like the
game’s fault rather than yours.
The focus on co-op play is an
awkward fit, too. Its structure feels


You’d assume nothing could be more
thematically clear than characters
with names like ‘War’ and ‘Death’, but
when you’re introduced to Pestilence
as a rootin’-tootin’ gunslinger who
can control people through their TVs
and summon illusory clones, you
start to wonder what kind of Bible the
developers have been reading.
There’s an uncomfortably old-
fashioned streak to some of these
elements, too. One of the game’s
first enemy types being headdress-
wearing, tomahawk-wielding Native
Americans who charge blindly into
your gunfire feels sorely out of step
in 2019; likewise the game’s primary
collectible being smutty pin-ups from
a Playboy-like magazine.
In the absence of a coherent theme,
God’s Trigger has nothing to fall back
on but its combat, and no amount of
nudie lady photos can distract from
the fact that it has simply been done
better before. Even at seven years old,
Hotline Miami feels fresher. Q

short
cut

WHAT IS IT?
A strategic, co-op,
top-down shooter
starring an angel and
a demon.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
A bit messy, both in
its loose controls and
all-over-the-place
aesthetic.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Doomsday preppers
looking to fill time
while they wait for
the apocalypse.

“Enemies feel


like a random


grab-bag of


shooter tropes”


OXM VERDICT
Heavily inspired by
Hotline Miami, but
sadly with none of
its precision, purity
or style.

5


RIGHT Puzzles
and traps break
up the fighting,
but they feel
insubstantial.

084 THE OFFICIAL XBOX MAGAZINE


REVIEW