Blastin’ Humies And Crankin’ Tunes… WAAAGH!!!

HIGH Great presentation that nails the 40K aesthetic. Fast and frenetic action.

LOW  Slowdown, excessive load times, unconfortable controls.

WTF  Do all Ork commanders have a house thrash metal band?

So dere I wuz, getting ready ta krump some humies wen dat no good zoggin’ Warboss Gutrekka took me bestest Squigwig.  An den he frew me offa ship an lef me fer ded on a world full of humies.  Well, if dat git wanz a skrap, he’s got un.  WAAAGH!

Ok, going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge over a stolen hat is a weak element to build a plot around, but oh man does it fit right in with the Orks of Warhammer 40K

Shootas, Blood &Teef falls right into one of my favorite categories of game, which is one I like to call the “right kind of stupid.”  It’s not going to win any awards for story, but it made me laugh, it gave me all of the dakka I could ever want top blow up countless enemies, and it didn’t overstay its welcome. Unfortunately, being on the Switch holds it back as technical limitations make the game more of a chore than the enjoyable Orky slaughterfest it’s supposed to be.

Controlling our “hero” on a 2D side-scrolling plane, players advance toward the end of each stage, blasting the ever-lovin’ crap out of anything that moves.  Since the protagonist is out for revenge against his fellow Orks, he’s going to mow down almost as many of them as he is human opponents on the contested world.  Along the way, there is some light puzzle solving (primarily of the find the way to open the locked door variety) and some equally light platforming consisting of occasional jumping/climbing/crawling over/under obstacles.  We are primarily here for the shooting, and Shootas delivers in spades. 

The player can wield everything from light pistols up through dakka-intense explosive rocket launchers, with a wide assortment of laser weapons and machine guns available for purchase as things progress, so long as the player has the teef to afford them (Orks use teeth as currency, because of course they do), along with other cosmetic items in the form of stylish new hats. 

Each stage is filled with staples of the Warhammer 40K universe including goblins, orks, and various humans up to and including the dreaded Space Marines.  Since this adventure comes from the team that brought us Guns, Gore & Cannoli, one can expect enemies to be dispatched in an incredibly grisly manner, and levels are strewn with bloody arms, legs, and heads.  Also, most sections feature a gauntlet where players must dispatch a frankly ridiculous number of enemies and then a multi-stage boss fight against enormous armor-wearing marines, tanks, and even a multiple-story-tall mech.

Shootas has personality to spare.  It features witty quips, blood and gore aplenty, solid shooting action, and a freakin’ Orkish heavy metal band.  The wide variety of enemies is appreciated, and fights are fast-paced and require a fair bit of skill, especially against the aforementioned bosses.  The campaign is short (about 5 hours) but remains engaging the whole time — it’s a palate-cleanser of an experience, and I enjoyed the aesthetic and the obvious love of the devs for the source material.

Shootas, Blood &Teef looks fantastic, but unfortunately that beauty comes at a steep price on the Switch.  It takes up to two minutes to load into the game proper, with long load times between stages as well.  When there are too many foes on the screen, the framerate begins to stutter like a snotling that’s been riddled with dakka.  To see if it was a hardware limitation, I played the same stage in the Steam demo version and I encountered none of these issues.  The Switch just doesn’t have the oomph to power this beast, and it’s a shame.

A more universal issue is with around the controller setup. 

Jumping is initially assigned to the left trigger of the Pro Controller (or Joy-Con).  The designers say this was to accommodate the manual aiming required using the right thumbstick.  On the Pro Controller this is mildly unpleasant and takes some getting used to, but on an undocked Switch or non-attached Joy-Cons, it is a lesson in finger strain that makes Shootas nearly unplayable. 

Additionally, the Switch multiplayer lobbies are empty — once I completed the campaign, there was very little reason to go back after collecting all of the weapons and while there are four character classes, I didn’t find them to be fundamentally different enough to warrant new runs. 

I expect these issues to be alleviated on PC, so while I did enjoy the gameplay and themes, the irritations of the Switch version mean that players who would like to jump in should probably do it on a different platform.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Purchase this game!

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Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Rogueside. It is currently available on XBO, XBX/S, Switch, and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. One hour of play was spent in multiplayer modes.  I attempted multiple times on multiple days at  multiple times of day to find players in the Switch lobbies, to no avail with the exception of one game, but the host immediately kicked me out. 

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Blood and Gore and Violence. The official description reads as follows: This is an action side-scrolling shooter in which players assume the role of an orc on a quest for revenge. Players traverse 2D platform environments and use guns, rocket launchers, lasers, and spears to kill various enemies (e.g., orcs, human soldiers). Combat is frenetic at times, highlighted by gunfire, cries of pain, and stylized blood-splatter effects. Although gameplay is depicted in cartoony manner, some weapon attacks can result in decapitation and dismemberment, with small body parts littering the environment.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game offers subtitles. The subtitles cannot be altered and/or resized. Cutscenes offer full subtitles to go with all spoken dialogue.  Sound cues in-game have a visual component.  However, spoken dialogue in-game such as taunts, cries of agony, and  most notably lyrics to a song playing during a boss fight are not subtitled.  This does not affect gameplay, but it does limit immersion.  This game is therefore not fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: Yes, this game offers fully remappable controls.

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