At Sundown – Review
Follow Genre: Twin Stick Shooter, Action
Developer: Mild Beast Games
Publisher: Versus Evil
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Tested on: PC

At Sundown – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: Fun, action packed gameplay
Bad: waiting for a match can drag on.
User Score
8.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

At Sundown is usually something a mother shouts at her children when they ask at what time they have to be home from playing with their friends outside. As a parent however, you wouldn’t want them to actually reenact the game in real life, before, at or after sundown. Doing so would certainly get you in trouble with child protection services and funerals are quite expensive, too. Also the therapy needed for losing your kids isn’t exactly free either. So best to shove a controller or keyboard in your kids’ hands and let them have at it from the safety of their rooms.

Story

The story behind At Sundown is obscure. Very much so. From the main site, you can gleen that the game is about hitmen who work in the shadows. They aren’t vampires, and if they are it’s not being revealed. Stealth is held in high regard when it comes to these guns for hire, as it helps them to do their job of murdermaking, which isn’t easy money, and health insurance is also hard to come by, not to mention no pension plan.

The way the story is told is by not telling it at all, there’s a gameplay mechanic and the game is built around that, so it’s not a narrative experience. It doesn’t even try to be so by sticking the story in the tutorial and just making it a mainly multiplayer experience with the story feeling tacked on. This means that the game isn’t bogged down by a half assed story. No, Activision that doesn’t mean you get a pass on cutting out the story campaign out of Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. The developers behind At Sundown didn’t put themselves in the position by pulling a fast one on their fans by cutting content that was in a previous iteration of a game in the series. Mild Beast Games made the game be about the mechanics, not about the story.

Graphics

Sometimes not seeing something isn’t anything to be praised, but At Sundown should be mentioned for the main gameplay mechanic, which is obscuring everyone. It’s up to you to stay out of the light and keep your shots to a minimum, because else you’ll be exposed and you’ll be dead meat pretty soon.

Does this mean the developers made a lackluster looking game? Not at all. There are six regions with several levels in them and all of them look extremely different and it just shows that level design is key when it comes to games. Which, in At Sundown, is distinct enough and supports the whole shadows versus light gameplay.

Sound

When it comes to the sound there’s a bit of a schism. The gameplay, when things get hectic is quite loud with all the gunfire going off, but the music is pretty laid back. So the vibe you get from the music is this jazzy, laid back atmosphere, only to have guns shooting and bombs going off conveying the absolute clusterfuckery of the chaos, which is, the raging battle. It’s weird and it’s something that you’ll have to get used to.

Speaking about the noises the guns make, the developer didn’t go out of their way to reinvent the wheel. This being said, the guns sound ‘weighty’ enough. This makes the noise of blowing someone away with the shotgun equally as satisfying as the sound of a single bullet escaping from the nozzle of your sniper rifle and ending the competition with some lead to the face.

Gameplay

At Sundown is a stealthy action/adventure twin stick shooter. That is, if you play on console, or have a controller hooked up to your PC. If, however, you play with mouse and keyboard, then it’s not a twin stick shooter. Where the left stick is used for movement, this is taken over by the W,A,S,D configuration initially –this can be configured in the game- and aiming and firing is done with the mouse, with both left and right clicking having different modes of fire dependent on the gun.

The shotgun for example has two shells lined, firing with the left mouse button means a single shell gets used, right clicking however, means you empty both rounds for an immensely powerful hailstorm of bullets which is so widespread it’ll be hard to miss the opponent if they are close by.

The pistol has a flare gun secondary fire, great for exposing enemies, so every weapon have their ups and downs and their own playstyle. As you play matches, be it offline or online, you’ll gain experience, and this will level you up. Leveling up gives you access to other guns, so you can get more creative with killing, and more modes are also unlocked as you level up for more gameplay possibilities in the online multiplayer part of the game.

Should a gun not be to your liking, and you aren’t the type to actually go to the tutorial to learn the ropes, you can always switch guns by pressing tab upon dying. This will give you the opportunity to try another gun and see if it works for you.

It’s a good thing that the game has local multiplayer, because if this game isn’t popular, then it means it’s basically unplayable. Having to wait a couple of seconds for a match is bearable, but having to wait several minutes not being able to do anything else isn’t exhilarating to say the least.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of fun to be had with At Sundown, the mechanics are solid, the levels are interesting. When it works, it works, and the developers clearly wanted to make a good game before anything else. The only thing you can hope for as a player is that cross-platform gaming will be a thing, so you don’t have to wait ages for a game. Seeing as the games can be over in under a minute, having to wait longer than the actual matches to be paired can become a pain and possibly the downfall of this otherwise really interesting title.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
At Sundown - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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