Blast Factor is one of the first of the games available for purchase through PS3's online store, and I'll tell you the experience of buying it was a little on the painful side. The online store certainly has a ways to go before it's ready for prime time, but after fighting through all the screens, I did get the game. For $8. After a few hours of playing it, I came to the conclusion that it's not bad. It's also not that great.
It seems that the next-generation consoles all need games where you use one stick to move your ship and the other to fire in different directions; Blast Factor rips off the Geometry Wars and Mutant Storm recipe pretty efficiently. That's my main problem with this game: we've played it before. This is every Robotron clone or Xbox Marketplace game you've ever played. The graphics are pretty nice, the music sounds eletronic, and that's it.
The game takes place on the surface of "specimens" and you remove bad cells and what look like tumors, but other than the organic feel of the enemies, this game is Mutant Storm. That's fine—Mutant Storm is a great game. I just don't think I needed to pay $8 to play it again.
The one thing the game does differently is the use of the Sixaxis; if you tilt the controller right or left you send a wave across the board, flushing enemies to the one side. You can also hit your shoulder button to push enemies away using a little shield; this effect also slows down time for a moment so you can get your bearings. I thought these two things were gimmicky at first, but in the later levels you will definitely need these moves to survive. It's just not enough of an innovation to make the game seem different from the crowd.
Sony has noticed that Microsoft appears to be making a killing with these games, and Geometry Wars is already a cult hit. Sony clearly wants in on the action. The game they made to do so isn't remarkable enough to get attention on its own, but I'm sure it will sell well enough by simply being one of the few choices available at launch. I'm guessing this is going to be quickly forgotten after a few rounds.
Status: Try the demo, skip the game
ESRB Rating: Everyone
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