The most recent work of Double Fine studio emerged unexpectedly, with no huge announcements. Headlander has never received much attention, which is odd given that it is a superb arcade game with a distinct audiovisual flair that will keep you entertained for hours.
The environment will appeal to anyone who enjoys retro sci-fi flair. The setting and colors evoke science fiction films from the 1970s and 1980s. We have vibrant venues, lasers, and neon themes. The soundtrack was also well chosen by the producers – we hear vintage electronic music, as well as funk and disco. Few games have such a unique personality. Headlander blends this aesthetic with just the perfect amount of levity you can tell it’s a Double Fine title. Let us begin by assuming the position of the leader. This is all that remains of the galaxy’s last man. Our mission is to discover the cause of humanity’s extinction. The artificial intelligence in charge of the door system speaks in a bored and sardonic tone. The space station’s robots regard humanity as the latest trend in the realm of heads. When we control a citizen and use the melee attack button, the character begins to dance. Controlling the bodies of mechanical civilians and troops is critical. If we are hooked to the torso of a robot with a gun, we can take off everyone’s head or fire it off. As we develop, we face more and more diverse opponents, and as a result, we have more tools at our disposal to overcome hurdles.
The action is seen from the side, and the gameplay is reminiscent of the Metroidvania genre, which refers to arcade games in which exploration is crucial. So we have a large number of places, and we must execute specific actions and satisfy particular requirements in order to open the passages. Developing the hero’s talents also allows access to previously inaccessible areas. The game is well-balanced; we don’t spend too much time battling, but you never grow weary of managing your thoughts alone. We must break away from our bodies at times in order to fly through a short tunnel, connect to the control panel, and gather treasures. We never get too attached to corpses since we always have enough of replacements on standby. When confronted with hostile robots, we can employ weaponry, most often lasers. During warfare, ricochets are quite useful. Arrows bounce off the surface, and we must utilize this to our advantage in order to strike our opponents. Because the opponents are fairly precise, you must also hide beneath the coverings that are nearly everywhere after a certain point. Surprisingly, humans cannot leap when we control our entire body. It’s tough to adjust to the lack of such a basic element in arcade games at first, but you can see why jumping would be difficult to integrate because it would be easy to transport any body to various locations.
You may also have the sensation that the experience is a little longer at times. Minor side activities that we encounter later in the game are seldom really engaging. Some aspects are also a little too repetitive, such as going through a succession of similar rooms with adversaries waiting in each of them and another door and another set of robots behind them. Fans of secrets and adventure may be put off by the fact that everything is actually quite straightforward to locate. The map displays practically every information regarding the location’s upgrades and surroundings.
Headlander might be a little shorter and less formulaic at points, but it’s still a fantastic production. It thrills with its aesthetics, amuses with its gaming mechanics, and is only sometimes irritating.