If You Can’t Take the Heat, Get Off the Battlefield! Mission 1985 (Steam) Review

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Mission 1985 is a fun, all-out fighting machine that wastes no time getting down to business. It’s not big on wasted dialogue or too many attempts at humor, instead, it portrays itself as a throwback to the arcade games of the ‘80s and ’90s with results that look and feel both new and fresh.

There’s nothing pretentious or whimsical here as we so often see in titles that parody old-school games. I would suspect, that most players, will scoff at the idea of bringing back games from three decades ago, then turn around and complain that today’s games don’t have the addictiveness of the former.

To them, I say it’s easy to mimic or mock something old, but it’s much harder to ask why games, such as Ikari Warriors or Commando, have endured the test of time. Indie developer, Consulog Game Studios, hopes to capture the proverbial lightning in a bottle and then try to catch it again with Mission1985, a tribute to the run and gun games of the past.

With retro-inspired visuals, responsive controls, and a thumping soundtrack, Mission 1985 is in fact, what we all may want from any action game: excitement, tension, and simplicity. Many games claim to be immersive but Mission 1985 genuinely is.

The game starts with a literal bang in which you try to fight your way level after level through enemy territory. You do this as only you know-how, with guns, grenades, flame-throwers, and anything else you can get your battle-scarred hands on.

Gameplay is viewed from an overhead perspective which allows you 360 degrees of freedom to look and move around, which is important because enemies will come at you from all sides. The opening sequence starts with a quick staging area, after that, be prepared to keep your thumb glued to the trigger button as waves of enemies waste little time coming after you with bullets, tanks, and grenades.

Along the way, you’ll have to contend with traps, deadly pits, lava, and a host of enemies set on taking you out. You can rescue prisoners which adds additional lives to your health bar, but since the game can be quite challenging, I recommend you start off with the maximum number of lives possible.

To break up the monotony, the developers have included several Space Harrier-type missions in which you take control of a targeting reticule and blast enemies from a semi-3D perspective. It’s a simple but, relatively easy way, to add depth to the game.

Consulog Game Studios, hopes to capture the proverbial lightning in a bottle and then try to catch it again with Mission1985, a tribute to the run and gun games of the past.

Graphical imagery has grown brutal and complex in many of today’s action games, and yet there is a simple elegance in the way Mission 1985 is presented. The characters here are more defined and less pixelated than its arcade cousins and the color palette makes more use of a robust and deeper artistic scheme and stirs in more luminous shades, giving the entire landscape a more subtle, but visually appealing retro look.

With arcade-inspired visuals, responsive controls, and a thumping soundtrack, Mission 1985 is in fact, what we all want from any action game: excitement, tension, and simplicity. Many games claim to be immersive but Mission 1985 genuinely is.

The tension is there and the chaotic action onscreen gives us very little chance to catch our breath. Mission 1985 keeps you at the edge of your seat, due mainly, because there is no way to anticipate how many levels you can survive or how much you can endure. And just when you’ve cleared one tough level, another more challenging one emerges, and that challenge, in my opinion, is what makes it so fun to play.

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