Project Root : Preview

On the Xbox 360 the twin-stick shooter revolution certainly went a little crazy and anyone would think just about every idea had been tried and tested.

So with Project Root  lined up for release at the end of the month, We’ve had our greasy mits around a pretty impressive Preview build.

Firstly the official game description and then make sure you feast your eyes on our exclusive first play.

“Lighting a brighter future, energy is the root of all advanced global development.” 
So states the motto of the Prometheus Corporation, the world leader in energy research, 
production and distribution. With our forward-thinking, charismatic president Demetrio Watts 
delivering cheaper energy to cities throughout the world, the Prometheus Corporation 
continues to balance sophisticated research with environmental conservation to light a 
brighter future for humanki 
 
What a giant load of horse@#%*. 
 
Oh, there’s no denying that Prometheus Corp. is the world’s leading energy provider – but at 
the cost of permanent environmental damage, corrupt political agendas, and thousands of 
human lives. With his beguiling, duplicitous smile, Demetrio Watts assures all citizens low-cost, 
efficient energy year-round. And yet behind the scenes and away from the public spotlight, he 
hides the dangerous secret plans Prometheus has been formulating for a while now. Precious 
few of us have realized this –I know personally as Prometheus forced my family and hundreds 
of others out of our community with their ruthless expansion plans. 
 
But we’re far from dead – we have been training in the shadows, gathering our resources, and 
sharpening our skills. It has taken time, but we are finally at a point where we can launch an 
effective strike against Prometheus. We won’t rest until we have pulled the wool off from the 
world’s eyes and reveal the true intentions of Demetrio and his company…or until we’re dead. 
Fast, direct action is needed and with our advanced F-72 Zonda aircraft, I – Lance Rockport – 
and others like me will personally strike at the root of this evil. 
 
We are Arcturus. We are ready. We are coming. 

 

As you’ll see initially everything looks pretty straight forward.

You control the lateral movement of your ship with the left stick, and use the right stick to rotate your aim and view, You have 3 main buttons, LT, RT and RB,

LT fires to the ground, with your right Trigger taking care of other ships in the air, RB is for your special weapons which can be picked up

Homing missiles – Fires a swarm of homing missiles that hit nearby air and 
ground targets 
Rocket pack – Fires a swarm of non-homing rockets straight for direct damage 
Laser beam – Fires a massive laser beam the incinerates airborne targets 
Disruptor – Defensive weapon emits an energy field that disperses any enemy 
weapon fire in the radius. 
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So it all sounds pretty simple so far, and believe me, that’s certainly a good thing, because the amount of games you could use to describe Project Root, certainly isn’t simple.
Firstly going back to titles like Asteroids,  R-Type and even Desert Strike, like the former you have to watch every corner of your screen, and while like R-Type it’s as easy as shooting them and not getting hit, you’re soon maneuvering your vehicle to strafe incoming fire from all directions and the fluidity of that really pulls comparisons to the fantastic Desert Strike.
Sine Mora and Ikaruga are two of the most recent comparisons I can bring up purely because of the SHMUP experience, and while not quite as visually impressive as Sine More (I would have loved to see some of the zoomed camera pans around exploding targets) the graphics are still razor-sharp, with everything easy to see (apart from the annoying turrets and tanks hidden in trees) but Like Ikaruga, it’s a tough and challenging experience, only imagine playing Ikaruga, while sat on a roundabout.
Sure enough, the threat is far from 1 dimensional, with some crafts taking little more than a bullet to destroy, your regularly circling ground targets using the vague curser, while also trying to take out numerous little ships, and while you can try following the helpful green arrow that circles your ship to the next objective, you’re not going to last long if you don’t take out some of the tanks and turrets firing homing missiles which will hunt you down even after a few evasive manouvers.
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First impressions of Project Root where initially a little muted, the training section doesn’t give much away, and the first level is somewhat underwhelming, if taken at a steady pace, you shouldn’t encounter too much trouble.
But onto the snow-laden world of the second level and beyond, and suddenly the handful of crafts become a horde, and with some large highly armoured, homing missile wielding enemies things suddenly take a turn from calm to crazy.
Another game likeness soon comes into play, Geometry Wars, the panic of avoiding not only the enemies, but also the fire, while trying to maneuver into an advantageous position to clear a few up and the objectives soon become second wind with survival the main target.
Project Root is hot on the radar and coming in fast, we’ll have a full review closer to the release of 28th April, but for the anticipated price of £6.99 ($9.99) it looks like it a very fun, and challenging addition to your collection.

MrLeighW

Freelance Gaming Journalist, Editor In Chief : Xbox One UK

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