DOGOS: Entering the Foray of Modern Space Shooter Games
For those among us who grew up with those classic shoot 'em up arcade games (with Galaga often coming into mind), Argentinian game developer OPQAM offers DOGOS─a modern take on space shooter retro games with a modern twist.
This game has just been recently launched, and as a lover of space shooter games, I am compelled to throw in my two cents about its gameplay. The scenario is nothing new. You are the last hope for humanity as Desmond Phoenix, the only remaining fighter pilot given the task of repelling an alien invasion. The whole story is unraveled while you are on a mission as you communicate with Europa─a sort of commanding officer that monitors the progress of your mission. There are also diary entries popping out to add a sense of drama and mystery to the plot.
For those who were weaned on pure search and destroy games, such plot intermission could be a downer, but if you wish to take a breather in between obliterating extraterrestrials, it may be tolerable.
The battle scenes and levels are open-ended and your objectives are made clear as you fly into enemy territory. Four difficulty settings and a vessel customization screen are given before you start. This customization is simply cosmetic, because these fighter ships all play the same way.
The navigation can prove to be tricky, even disorienting. While this shmup game attempts to be original, the auto-scrolling segments can get to you. While your ship looks tough and invulnerable, you will find yourself returning to a particular scene if you carelessly even just scratch your ship against a given obstacle. Except for the very easy level where you are given infinite lives, the rest of the difficulties limit you to only three lives, so navigating along difficult terrains can be a bummer.
The graphics are quite arresting, but it is no restitution to what I consider as a personal pet peeve: The fighter ship is slow and provides no upgrade for speed for a particular number of enemies taken down, and it kind of removes any sense of actual purpose from killing the enemies to begin with. It makes you feel like someone could have at least thrown you a bone.
The boss battles are exciting but sadly, there are no indicators of how long you need to clash with these biggies, since a health bar is nonexistent. You are in the blind when fighting the bosses, and you can only hope to survive long enough─which is a REALLY long time─to ensure that you take them down.
In a nutshell, DOGOS is a good time-killer, but there are still areas for improvement that the developer could have worked on to make the gaming experience more engaging. It seems like the team had tons of brilliant ideas but were too hasty in implementing it. Still, credit should be given to its developers for providing a new twist to those old space shooter games. Perhaps in the future, OPQAM might successfully address the given issues surrounding the gaming experience in DOGOS.