Switch version tested
Review code provided
After just completing Exit The Gungeon I was still in the mood for a twin-stick shooter to play, hence why I picked up Endurance. I’m not sure why “space action” is included in the name or that’s some sort of typo, but it looks bad as the title. This space set game is a prequel to Ailment and is said to have an engaging story and immersive gameplay. Will this action/shooter deliver on what it promises? Let’s dig in and find out together.
IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM
Our game almost immediately brings the main screen that shows singleplayer and options menu. No name of the game but haunting background music playing to set the tone. Choose a difficulty and one of six characters all with some form of “Sam” in their name. Keeping in mind that health, regen, speed, shield, and trap detection are the attributes we are deciding on. I went with Samantha Edwards as her statistics seemed the best fit overall.
- Samantha Edwards
- Samuel Burton
- Samson Bane
- Sammie Oliver
- Samira Hide
- Sam Ferguson
Our story begins with a wide shot view of the Endurance ship, it looks amazing. The bit style charm is present and I am indeed charmed. Moving quickly to the story, it is apparent that a massacre has occurred on our ship and we are the last survivor. Pulsing, dark music moves the view from area to area, explaining that thousands of crew members are no longer with us, bodies strewn about in a bloody mess. Rewind to three days ago, and the game begins.
NPC characters will spout dialogue that’s quite entertaining. One of my cohorts is said to be watching The Walking Dead tonight! Just as I was about to make a reference to Alien, my character mentions meeting Ripley previously. She mentions wanting a cheeseburger and that maybe she should have stayed in bed today. These jokes continue even to our co-workers that while working on computers, admit they do not have a clue what they are doing. Humour in the text is a funny combination to the bloodshed that comes after. My character often states she is ready for a drink, more specifically a mojito. Maybe I’ll be needing one soon as well.
THE FINAL FRONTIER
It seems we have some imposters on board that are killing everyone. It’s not until you get within attacking distance that they blink a red outline versus our blue outlined friends. Pounding faces in, and shooting folks in half is common in combat and it seems I am the monster I was predicting to be on the ship! Everywhere I return to has blood-stained floors and eerie music to reinforce the dark vibes.
Medkits and guns are hidden away in lockers and trunks. It’s handy that medkits will appear as green blips on the map and will remain if not taken. Swap between guns using one trigger button and shoot using the other. The gun spins around like a pinwheel in place on our character and looks quite odd. Shooting doesn’t feel satisfying but shots are accurate. Fighting involves running around the room avoiding enemies before getting two shots off unscathed. Don’t bother avoiding coworkers as friendly fire is off. Hand to hand combat is awkward and done in passing to avoid taking too many blows. Gun repair kits will improve guns prior to breaking. We have unlimited ammo until they break so watch its health bar in case a gun repair kit isn’t nearby. Fire packs which increase fire rate can be found as well. Each enemy downed will yield some credits for upgrades.
Story is the main focus here, and Samantha is determined to get to the bottom of this enemy invasion. It seems the tables are turning against us as our friends recognise the bad guys as some they know, and some that were our security guards. All the while our firefights increase in intensity of enemies and strength. I entered the first BOSS BATTLE and didn’t realise it was such an event until I saw the health bar at the top of the screen. This was just after a room full of baddies had been crowding my space as I fired away until they all fell. My second boss fight the health bar appeared prior to entering the small room but was still littered with baddies. I led him astray to other areas to avoid fire and pepper away at his health. Combat mostly feels like running away, shooting, and hiding behind objects to avoid fire. It becomes repetitive but given the small areas of play, this is what should be expected.
Traps will become more of a problem in further areas that require the player to upgrade that tactic to avoid hidden bombs. Visible lasers reminiscent of that scene in Resident Evil appear and stop the player in their tracks when being chased. Bombs laid out on the ground become an issue when the “follow me” missions happen and your partner hits them head-on. Increasing health regen is still at the top of my list of upgrades and it feels good to see the health meter rising. In the end, it was the health regen that I chose to top out first and it refilled at about a second per hit point.
At first the game had this eerie feeling story with a nice look going for it but that did not last long. I couldn’t follow the storyline as I accidentally skipped too many dialogue sequences. You know how if you press a button, the rest of the text will appear instead of at the set pace? That skips it entirely. I blasted past any dialogue following since it wasn’t worth restarting the game or trying to backtrack with the story, we’re on a ship and folks are being turned against us. Move from room to room and open lockers, use the wonky controls to engage in battle to see who can withstand the most bullets, move on. Fighting was not the strong point of this game as it just feels like sloppily running along while taking surprise damage from all sides. It just wasn’t fun. It lost the appeal quickly as I moved from one area and boss fight to the next, leading to where I put the game down. The last boss I faced hit 197 health and put up a shield just to toss land mines around and absorb my bullets.
I was excited to boot up Endurance and the dark feeling sounds and story led me to engage in the adventure but ended up losing me. Fights don’t feel challenging until the tables have turned, shots aren’t satisfying, the controls are okay. Fighting music rises and falls when enemies are a certain distance away and with the back and forth needed to win, that grew annoying. The game didn’t feel that it was progressing the further I went and did not motivate me to continue.
TBG Score: 4/10
Platform: PC, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 17/09/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: RPG, Shooter, Action
Developer: BeardyBird Games
Publisher: Ivan Panasenko
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop