- System: PS3, Xbox One, PC/Steam
- Publisher: OddBird
- Developer: OddBird
- Release Date: 9/21/2017
- Rating: TBD
- Genre: Action
- Players: Single Player or Online/Offline Multiplayer (1-4)
- Official Website: http://oddbirdstudio.ca/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
- Dash: PS4 (Square/L1/L2/Circle), Xbox One (X/LB/LT/B), Keyboard (Shift)
- Reflect: (press any of the above “Dash Buttons” while standing still)
- Aim: Move the right analog stick or mouse
- Shoot: Release the right analog stick after aiming or release the left click on your mouse
Interact/Powerup usage in Arcade Mode: PS4 (Triangle), Xbox One (Y), Keyboard (E).
You’ll notice that when playing on a controller, actions are mapped to multiple buttons. This redundancy, however, doesn’t hinder the gameplay. In fact, you might find that certain situations make certain buttons more optimal than others. As an example, aiming is done with using the right analog stick (or mouse). By moving the right analog stick, you both aim in a direction, but also pull back the string of your bow, releasing this the analog stick (or letting go of left click) will enable you to fire an arrow.
The nature of shooting makes it difficult to do jump shots, so while you might prefer jumping with the X input on a PS4 controller, you might find it better to jump with R2 when aiming.
Arrow Heads - Announcement Trailer
Interestingly enough, shots done immediately from your bow will miss opponents very close to you. While this is strange at first, this gameplay decision helps the game not devolve into a close quarters slugfest. The second notable design choice to is that for players who do favor close combat, dashing in this game allows both movement and a temporary stun on enemies. If you dash through your enemy, you will leave then temporarily vulnerable to your attacks, making the game influenced by a different spectrum of ranged attacks. Lastly, the reflect mechanic, an action done by letting go of the left analog stick and hitting the “Dash Button” is able to reflect projectiles back at the opponent and defeating them if contact is made. Reflecting is lax enough where players won’t have to be too focused on timing, but missing a reflect does leave the player temporarily vulnerable, allowing opponents to bait reflects and punish appropriately.
Arrow Heads - Game Modes - Highlight
One example is the snow map. The left side, in particular, is on higher terrain. An avalanche falls in the middle, separating the left and right side as a dangerous obstacle. Since the left has the advantage of higher ground, players on the right side will struggle to lob their shots and hit them due to the distance and height. However, if everyone rushes the left side, its advantage becomes difficult to maintain, making it an area players want to contest for themselves.
When only 1 player remains (or all players die), the round ends and respective kills are shown in the results. If no player has reached 10 kills yet, a round begins anew until one player (or multiple) have achieved 10 kills--if multiple players reach the goal simultaneously, the game awards the respective players with 1st place. Items will appear randomly throughout the stage, ranging from missiles, spread shots, armor, and more, influencing your decisions as you push your way towards victory. Players who find themselves at least 3 points behind from the leading player will be given armor at the start of the round. Armor can survive to normal arrows, but will not save the player if hit by a missile or environmental hazard.
The next notable (and hilarious feature) in Arena Mode is if 3 - 4 players exists, any player who dies will be able to control their own corpse. Pressing either the jump or dash button allows players to move their dead bodies much like a ragdoll. Hitting opposing players with your body cause them to be stunned, allowing other players to capitalize on your assistance. The ragdoll physics make for a fun time even when you’ve lost the round.
In the current version of the game that we experienced, an online mode was available for Arena Mode (and will be available for Arcade Mode as well later). Online play was mostly good, although there were occasional strange issues of spawning on top of players due to lag. Getting into a match is pretty seamless too. Go into the Arcade Mode’s archery range, Arrow Heads version of a lobby, and open your menu. Go to the online mode within this menu and search for players or invite a friend.
Players who are waiting for matches will get put into your lobby or you will appear in theirs. As long as players are online, getting into a match and playing is quick and fruitful. For the most part, local play and online play provide for an exciting experience for those looking for competition, but those looking for a more team-based experience should check the second game mode.
Powerups are selected by roulette and include some you’ve seen from Arena Mode and two new features: life up and 500 bird seeds (the game’s currency used to buy aesthetic changes to your character, bow, or arrows). If the power-up selected is weapon-based, the yellow gauge rapidly decreases. During this limited duration, all players can use weapons infinitely to help stave the oncoming enemies. Knowing when to use the gauge effectively will usually determine if the team fails round or finds a victorious path to the next.
- Miniature bear: this bear cannot take away a life from any player, but its tackle can stun
- Axe-wielding bear: this bear will take time to throw an axe at opponents, but the bear takes a decent amount of time before it throws its weapon
- Gun-wielding bear: this sneaky enemy can be fairly accurate with its single-shot gun, but is does not track players who move non-linearly that easily
- Shield-wielding bear: this enemy will block shots direct at its front with its shield, is vulnerable from above, the back, or after it dives at players
- Bomb-shooting bear: this armored bear requires multiple arrows to bring down and it attacks by launching miniature bears at opponents or by shooting bombs with a large blast radius
While enemies can be handled fairly easily early on, as players trudge closer to the 25th round, avoiding shots will be a monumental task. Coordinating attacks where enemies enter will help defend against the tide, but a moment’s hesitation will narrow your path towards victory. Gamers seeking a co-op experience will appreciate the fun and strategy this mode can elicit from its simple yet entertaining gameplay.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Easy to learn without limiting player skill allows for various players to enjoy the game
- Unique aiming mechanics make for an interesting take on an arena game with shooting mechanics
- At the moment, no AI/bots make it difficult to play by yourself
- Some maps in Arena Mode favor a certain side or location, so starting locations per round can be difficult to overcome, especially if you start near an explosive barrel
Honey's Final Verdict:
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