Nex Machina recenze

Dobří arkádoví návrháři často pracují se čtyřmi bzučícími slovy ve svém mozku: Co by udělal Jarvis? Jarvis – and I hope I don’t need to explain this – refers to Eugene Jarvis, and he’s amongst the greatest twitch game designers of all time. With Defender, he created a coin-op legend, a game so overwhelming in its flair and complexity and sheer visual impact that people would drop money into its innards just to witness the explosion that erupted when they died. With Robotron, a broken hand lead to the creation of the first properly implemented twin-stick shooter system in games – you move with one joystick and aim with the other. No fire button needed, because Robotron was relentless.

  • Vydavatel: Housemarque
  • Vývojář: Housemarque
  • Plošina: Recenze na počítači
  • Dostupnost: Nyní na PS4 a PC

It was, and is, a beast. You spawn in the centre of the screen to find enemies all about you. These enemies have different behaviours: some are coming for you, some are bad news for the humans scattered around that provide the game’s only collectable. Some are firing bullets, and some barely know that you are there. In the primordial soup of all this gloriously simple AI, magical emergent behaviour swarms and multiplies: grunts cluster in bait balls as they pursue you, enforcers work their ways into the corners of the screen. God, it is a hell of a thing. Smash TV coming years later picked up key threads while splitting the action across interlinked rooms, even chucking in a few bosses. A gloriously 80s plot had you fighting not for the last vestiges of humanity but for toaster ovens and other game show glories. Miyamoto might be gaming’s Spielberg, but Jarvis is our John Carpenter: violent and angry and funny and oddly elegant all at once. He is well-deployed randomness. He is almost too much.

Special credit must go to the audio, which intersperses the techno soundtrack with period-faithful bleeps and chirrups. It’s all very evocative.

Hluboký nádech. To vše dělá Nex Machina, the fruits of a partnership between Jarvis and Finnish Jarvis acolytes Housemarque, such a treat. I have no idea how deep the relationship went – Jarvis is listed as “creative consultant” – but as I play, part of the fun of this is trying to spot the point at which one arcade great influences the other.

It helps that, while it shares preoccupations with Jarvis’s early classics, Housemarque is actually a very different developer. Resogun will work as an example. It’s Defender, in that you dash back and forth along a scrolling screen, shooting aliens to pieces and rescuing defenceless humans scattered around the place. But it’s also absolutely not Defender, because the AI-driven unpredictability of Defender’s enemy waves has been replaced here by some of the greatest choreography in modern games. Resogun looks like chaos when the screen is filled with bullet hell, but deep down this is actually bullet heck, and if you’re playing it right you’re hitting your marks like a stuntman during a sinuously long take in a John Woo movie. Spawn here, turn right immediately, shoot these guys, turn left, shoot those guys. Up, dash, through those guys and then let everything go all at once. Magic, but a very different kind of magic.

Nex Machina? Nex Machina je oba kinds of magic. It’s a twin-stick shooter with humans to collect like Robotron, it’s spread across interlinked rooms like Smash TV, albeit interlinked rooms that are Mobius-stripped over the surprisingly complex surfaces of stages that must look like chunky, multi-faceted pieces of modern corporate sculpture. It has bosses like Smash TV. But it is made of voxels, like Resogun, which means enemies explode in showers of breakfast cereal. It has power-ups that come with the power-up lady voice plucked out of all the best Housemarque games (calm and somehow defiant, she is probably my favourite character in modern gaming). It has a dash that is crucial for finding elbow room and navigating laser beams. It even has those enemies that pop up riding along spectral tramlines like in Resogun, who turn up at set intervals and must be blasted to pieces before they disappear off screen.

This is a Housemarque joint and a Housemarque joint alone – meaning it’s the Finnish company’s first self-published IP in 23 years.

A tak ve středu Nex Machina je tento slavný rozpor: hra, ve které je skutečné stádium-management, jak se pohybujete z jedné arény do druhé, ale která má stále prostor, aby vás překvapila. Z Housemarque se dostanete na podívanou krásně plánovaných nepřátelských vln, které se protínají dohromady, ale od Jarvisa dostanete naprostou neúprosnost, která pochází od nepřátel, kteří se hromadně masírují a oznamují, jak závodí pro vás, že se neobtěžovali číst scénář. Tato hra se cítí méně jako spolupráce a spíš jako obrovský, krásný, precizní stroj s velmi zvláštním duchem. Jarvisi!

Nepřítel design je vysoký bod, mohutný, chrastící robot trhne všech tvarů a velikostí, kroutil se s kabely a vyzvedl v ničemných červených světlech. Chvějící se roje, ale tam jsou velcí chlapi, kteří míří k lidem, a tam jsou chytré otočení na všechno od odstřelovačů až po bombardéry, a jeden obzvláště hrozný monstrum, které rozpouští rozpínající se hranici laseru po you’ve killed him. Bosses punctuate things beautifully, multi-wave set-pieces who clomp in trailing names like Yeti Kong, who even manages to crowbar in a sly joke about Mario before he does you in.

Speciální zbraně a power-ups završují okamžik-k-moment hrát. Power-ups nabízí zvraty jako explozivní pomlčka nebo lepší šíření zbraní; zbraně poskytují rychlé dobíjení jako raketomet a meč. Meč ve hře Robotron! Je to skoro příliš mnoho na to, abych to mohl vzít.

The levels themselves bring everything together, elbowy interconnected spaces that echo with secret areas, secret humans to collect, secret beacons to find and shoot, and plenty of other doodads to hunt down. They have their own rhythms as you zoom between one arena and the next, and they have their own feel, from moments where you’re navigating lava in destructible voxel caves to set-pieces in which you battle snipers and drop ships as they congregate on Blade Runner roof tops. The campaign is a brisk six worlds, but it’s not about getting to the end, it’s about getting to the end with an astonishing score, combos undamaged by accidental deaths, no enemies missed, no humans uncollected. Everything in Nex Machina is an opportunity – an opportunity to excel or to create a mini-disaster. Those humans are always tempting you into trouble; those Visitors riding their rails are always making you curse the fact that you’ve arrived in the right place at just the wrong time.

Outside of the campaign, there’s solo level play, and an Arena mode that sees you unlocking weird new variants that send you back into familiar territory with an unusual agenda: make it through extra fast, or without collecting any humans at all, say. There’s also a selection of bizarro challenges to notch up. Porazit pět úrovní bez pohybu. Je to vůbec možné? (To je.)

Vhazujte místní kooperaci a naprostou krásu vexel-poseté všeho a 2017 vypadá docela dobře. Nádherné, dokonce. Následujte mě na tomhle: Nex Machina se cítí jako hra a spíš jako šťastný, ďábelský výsledek seance. Jednu noc, ve tmě finské zimy, zvolal Housemarque ďábla. A ďábel byl Eugene Jarvis.


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