Developer Housemarque is renowned for its fun side scrolling action games. Matterfall is the studio's newest game and it's very fun and action packed.
You may have remembered Housemarque's PS4 launch title Resogun where you took control of a spaceship shooting lots of enemies. Matterfall is similar in that regard, although now you take control of a human soldier in an armoured suit like the Metroid games.
The story of this game is pretty simple to say the least. The game takes place in a futuristic world where "Smart Matter" has taken over the planet. "Smart Matter" is basically alien robots that have taken over. Thankfully Avalon Darrow is the main hero and she is able to shoot the aliens with her cool gear and armoured suit.
Side scrolling games are usually simplistic in design, but Matterfall is anything but a simple game to play. The levels are multi-layered and there are many different enemy types that are all trying to kill you as fast as possible. There's absolutely no time to take a breather in this game!
The game is a twin stick shooter meaning you can move with the left stick and aim and shoot in all directions with the right stick. You will need to shoot constantly because the alien robots come at you in all directions.
In order to spice up the gameplay, Darrow can jump and also use a dashing ability to avoid incoming fire. Dashing is the single most important gaming mechanic in this game because if you don't use it, you will die instantly. Darrow only has a five-hit life bar so movement is crucial. If you die, you will have to restart at the next checkpoint.
In each of the levels, there are also around three or four human hostages for you to save. These hostages can be hard to find sometimes, so replaying the levels is a must. By saving hostages, Darrow can earn herself some upgrades. This can include a grenade launcher, heat seeking missiles, more fire power and more.
Finding the hostages and getting new upgrades is a must because Matterfall has no levelling up system whatsoever. I actually would have preferred if this game did have a levelling up system since the game gets real hard towards the end.
Speaking of difficulty, the three bosses in this game are very hard to kill. They throw a lot of projectiles along the way and Darrow can only take five hits before she dies. You can try and collect health upgrades along the way, although they are only dropped when you kill certain enemies.
The game as a whole has 9 levels and three bosses. The game can be short if you are good, but it may take a long time if you are stuck on the bosses. There is a lot of replay value on offer if you want to get a high score and chart yourself on the leaderboards.
In terms of presentation, the game offers one of the best soundtracks I have heard all year. The music is very memorable and fits with the game's atmosphere perfectly. Not to mention the special effects and particles while shooting shine brightly on the screen too.
Overall, Matterfall is a very enjoyable side scrolling shooter that fans of Resogun will love. That being said, you will need fast reflexes and a keen eye in order to succeed. If you aren't good at these types of games, you may want to avoid this because the bosses are hard to take down.