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31st, August
SG PAX Prime 2011: Shoot Many Robots

Shoot Many Robots
is a game that puts you up against robots and your goal is to… wait for it… shoot as many of them as possible! It’s a title quite fitting of the overall purpose of its product. The demo I got to play at PAX had me and one of the developers going head-to-head with robots coming from all directions and our job was to take care of them by any means necessary. And we had the means.

The game has an interesting and somewhat comedic-look to it (a la Borderlands, which Demiurge Studios worked on) that caters to the overall feel of the game. You play as Pickles Walter Tugnut, a cooky name that serves as an indicator of what’s to come. Although we don’t quite know his story yet, with a name like Pickles you can rest assured it’s a fascinating one.

SMR is a side-scroller shooter with RPG elements involved, and all these traits combined make for a crazy good time. You can play solo but it’s more fun playing with friends, which you can do locally or online with up to four players. You level up as you progress through the game and gain in-game currency to unlock silly guns and even sillier attire. You can customize your character with the variety of clothes available in the store to help enhance your abilities any way you see fit. There are hard hats, pet carriers, tutus, tights, etc. that each have their own attributes to benefit your character. There’s even a Fruit Fucker.

Yep, you read that right.

It’s not often I’m allowed to write something like that in article, but SMR gives me the opportunity to. Inspired by the Penny Arcade comic, Pickles has the option to wear an object called the Fruit Fucker. Acting as a helmet, it stays on his head and well… you can guess the naughty things that it does. I couldn’t check what advantages the Fruit Fucker brings because I was laughing too much to notice.

For actual combat, you have your standard melee and shooting. You’ll have a primary weapon with unlimited ammo (the flamethrower is the best!) as well a secondary weapon with limited ammo but better damage potential. You also have the option to slide stylishly to escape tight spots when you’re getting overwhelmed. If you have a jetpack equipped, you can fly for short bursts.

For the short campaign portion I demoed, me and my partner made our way through a canyon filled with explosives and, of course, robots. Over time we would encounter points where the path divided, and choosing the right path could either mean progression or certain death. You can guess which one I chose.

I see London, I see France, I see Pickles’….

I was also able to try out Survival, which is the game’s Horde mode. You just keep knocking robots down round after round to see how far you can make it. Should you get hit too many times, you can drink beer to revive yourself or wait until your partner picks you up – that is, if they remember to do so in the midst of the mayhem.

Shoot Many Robots was a lot of fun for the short time I had with it and I can’t wait to see what more it can bring to the table as its development progresses. The team really seems to be having fun with it, so with passion like that I’m sure I won’t be let down. SMR will be a downloadable game for XBLA, PSN and PC coming out sometime in 2012.