Why hello there once again lovely individuals of the internet, Joe here once again to talk about the ever-so-lovely AirHeart – Back when I played AirHeart back at a press event in September, I was gradually gripped by the bizarre twin-stick shooter roguelike; however, have my thoughts on the game changed drastically since the Early Access Demo was released?
Well, yes…And no. Long story short, I’m still infatuated with AirHeart, even more so from when I played it around a month ago, but I have formed a more coherent opinion on the game other than that.
AirHeart’s demo is slightly different to what I played back at the press event, with items being locked, a seemingly harder difficulty (Maybe that’s because I got to the 4th level in around 10 minutes…Oops, sorry Jeremy!), and a cleaner UI – These changes, however, both work and don’t work at the same time; there are numerous spelling errors, text-based errors, and bugs, all of which I am glad to say, are being worked on currently, and are presented to players at a face value as soon as they load the game. This honest touch did make me smile, since its’ a form of honesty I haven’t seen in a long while. Respect to Blindflug!
Along with the new demo comes the addition of Currency; you earn Currency by selling parts, oil, and other such things gathered in the wide open expanse of the sky during your adventures – The rate you earn Currency is rather slow, although part of this being a roguelike is to identify risk vs reward. It felt odd to me being stuck with the standard single-shot rifle, however it quickly grew on me, despite the bad aiming. Another thing this game pushes is realism, since the parts and guns you begin the game with are literally just scrap parts found in your hangar, they obviously won’t be the most powerful, accurate or reliable weapons to use – This really pushes the need to upgrade, and to judge each adventure accordingly.
Thankfully, however, it seems my beloved bumper weapon is still ever-so-slightly overpowered! Hooray!
Another part of the demo that stuck out to me when I played it, as well, was being able to see the graphics and textures turned up to max on my own laptop and TV; initially I worried that the low-quality, Borderlands-esque art style was more of a hinderance than a good design choice, but seeing the game up close, clearly, on a crisp TV at max settings really does feel like a feast for the eyes. Backgrounds are spectacularly organised and designed, projectiles clean and identifiable, and ships looking creative and well-constructed – It certainly put my fears to rest, to say the least.
I did encounter a few issues on the game, especially on my girlfriend’s Surface Pro 3 laptop, where half the main menu was missing off the side of the page, including the various spelling, text-based errors, especially where text was rendering off the page, however as I said before, the developers are being thankfully honest with the Early Access state of their game.
All in all, I’m still in love with AirHeart, and I am so, so interested in seeing how it develops, especially where the dev’s honesty has been shown in the first few seconds of the game! I’ll definitely be personally supporting this project, and hope that AirHeart only grows, and doesn’t lose it’s way.
Overall, I would rate the AirHeart Early Access Demo an 8 / 10 in it’s current state.