Available On: Xbox One, Xbox 360, Steam
Platform Tested On: Xbox One
Developer: Oxeye Game Studio
Genre: Platformer, Shooter
Official Site: http://playcobalt.com/
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
You probably have heard the name Cobalt recently when it comes to gaming but just what is Cobalt? It is the newest game from the makers of Minecraft that just dropped on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows Steam on February 2nd. In this game you find yourself taking over a metal robot in the distant future, you have advanced AI and are searching for remnants of human life. Your first words are “I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.” Okay well, that line is actually from Terminator 2 but you can make the comparison right? Now even though this release comes from the makers of Minecraft, you can expect a very different experience.
Cobalt is a crazy 2D side-scrolling shooter with a lengthy story mode, arcade mode, and multiplayer mode. Throughout your time playing as Agent Cobalt in this action adventure you will find yourself running, jumping, fighting, sliding, shooting, rolling, bullet dodging, deflecting and more. Once you finally get a good handle on the controls you’ll be able to flow through combat as if you were filming a scene for the next John Wick movie. Aside from the campaign, players can also check out the Arcade section. In this are several different game types are offered such as Survival, Death match, Team Strike, Plug Slam and Challenge. A “Play Online” mode is also available however, finding anyone using the matchmaking seemed impossible which I’ll detail more shortly.
Combat in Cobalt is both fun and incredibly frustrating at times. Agent Cobalt has three main areas in which the player can utilize to do battle which are melee, firearms and thrown weapons such as grenades. The action is typically faced paced, especially as you progress through the later parts of the game and enemies become more numerous and powerful. Boss Battles unfortunately, become rather repetitive with each feeling the exact same as the one before but with just more hoops to jump through to beat them. Some bad guys also tend to drop grenades when they’re killed effectively blowing you to smithereens just when you thought the battle was over.
The story mode in Cobalt will run you a good 10 hours or so on normal difficulty. Essentially while traveling through space on your ship, your advanced AI picks up a distress beacon and you are sent to investigate. Story mode can be played with one or two players so feel free to grab a friend before taking on the baddies and saving some of the human race. Throughout the story you’ll have puzzles to solve boss battles and continue to learn how to use new abilities. You’ll learn how to deflect arms fire with a carefully time roll, use the melee to thrown projectiles back to the send, jump-kick enemies and take out enemies with your slide.
The Arcade gives you a chance to play with bots or friends over several different game types. In “Survival” you will find yourself facing wave after wave of enemies. “Plug Slam” is a variation of the classic Capture the Flag. Challenge mode is particularly fun if you and your friends are competitive in nature. I used to love the Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile races just for the satisfaction I would get beating a friends time. This section in Cobalt focuses on puzzle solving, speed, agility and of course time.
When it comes to the “Play Online” option which consists of matchmaking for different game types…I got absolutely nowhere. Over the course of three days, I was only able to match up with ONE person. Every other time the session timed out in the search process. I’m talking a good 15 minutes at the least trying to find someone of all game types with no results. I sent a support request to Mojang but have no received anything yet as of this writing. In other words, I am totally in the dark about why I couldn’t find anyone.
Several people have reported issues with bugs playing through Cobalt but I did not experience any game-breaking bugs. One individual actually reported being 12 hours into the story mode only to have the game bug out by not spawning a needed key and as a result, he was forced to abandon the campaign 12 hours in. Thankfully I did not come across that issue because that is something that would certainly push anyone into a controller throwing cursing tirade. Cobalt was actually originally supposed to be released on October 30th, 2015 but due to the game build being buggier than they would have liked it was pushed back to February 2nd, 2016.
The level design and control scheme can leave you a bit frustrated along with enemy placement but Cobalt is good fun and absolutely worth picking up for the low price of $19.99. Once you get the hang of things you’ll have a blast flowing through combat and taking out enemies. The fun balloon further fills up with some friends jumping in during the story and arcade mode. Cobalt isn’t the new Minecraft but it’s certainly a little piece of gold waiting to be uncovered with that diamond pic ax.
- Gameplay: A very fun 2D shooter with a wide variety of game modes and combat options. Enemy placement and minor bugs throw a splash of sourness on otherwise divine play.
- Graphics: The entire game plays out in 2D. They are just fine for what’s being offered here.
- Sound: Great techno music you can throw on during play or just stop and listen to.
- Presentation: Lengthy story mode and plenty to learn in this new game from the makers of Minecraft.
- Lengthy Story Mode
- Bullet Time
- Face Paced Action
- Matchmaking for Online play
- Enemy Placement
- Lack of explanation on some controls