Title: Megaton Rainfall
Developer: Pentadimentional Games
Publisher: Pentadimentional Games
Available For: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Official Site: https: www.megatonrainfall.com
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Where To Buy It: Retail, PlayStation Store
Note: This review is for the PS4 version of Megaton Rainfall. The game is also available for PlayStation VR.
When I was a little kid my favorite time of year came after a big snowfall. I’d climb the snow banks crushing imaginary landscapes and cities with my boots. Meager peons, only I could see, would tremble at my untold god-like power and my ability to obliterate mountains with each step. It had been some time since I had those feeling I relate to a heavy snow, even if it were all a figment of my imagination. The closest thing to it though has to be my recent time playing the first person superhero title, Megaton Rainfall.
In Megaton Rainfall you play an indestructible unnamed being of unimaginable power tasked with fending off an alien invasion of earth. The trouble is, you might actually be too powerful for the task at hand.
Megaton Rainfall features nine alien “waves” that must be defeated before the city, or cities, you are protecting take too much damage. Before each mission, you will be granted an additional superpower to add to your arsenal. This is where you can cause some serious destruction to the alien ships flanking the city’s buildings or to the city itself. You start out with a standard blast to shoot at the enemy ships. Most have a precise red spot that will cause instant destruction or you can attack the broad vehicle itself which requires more hits. Going for the precise shot has its disadvantages. If you miss your blast could take out an entire building and with it cause dozens of human casualties. This dynamic is magnified as you acquire more powerful skills. Hit the city with your “gigaton blast” and you will destroy an entire city block plus your shot at finishing the level. Add laser beam and drilling attacks, plus a few more for good measure, and you end up with a complete arsenal able to handle any enemy or easily decimate those fragile humans.
The knife’s edge you end up walking in Megaton Rainfall is what makes it so appealing. What other game grants you near unlimited powers and then asks you to use it sparingly? This may sound like being given a Ferrari and told to obey the speed limit in a school zone but it is not. Megaton Rainfall pushes you to take full advantage of each new power afforded you. It merely takes steps to ensure that you are not reckless with what you have been granted. As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “with great power comes great responsibility”.
Of the powers you have in the game the first granted to you is the most impressive, the power of supersonic flight. At first, you can fly Mach 10 (with that dwarfed later on). It works seamlessly to accelerate by rising high into the atmosphere until all drag is eliminated and you are in space. A few seconds later you can fly to any earthbound location with pinpoint accuracy. The flight controls are completely intuitive and work whether covering a short distance or great swaths of real-estate. In fact, should a good Superman video game ever be created in the future its success would have to be at least partially attributed to borrowing from the flight mechanics in Megaton Rainfall.
In general Megaton Rainfall is a decently good looking game. It accomplishes an adequate reproduction of macro visuals such as Saturn’s rings and the Moon while providing enough resolution for the micro such as individual buildings or recognizable earthly sites such as Stonehenge or Dubai’s Palm Islands. I did encounter some graphical glitches that forced one reboot of my PS4 and the destruction of buildings from a certain worm-like alien ship looked rather weak if you paid too close attention to it. Overall though that is a small quibble as the buckling of the ground and flattening of cities never grew old even though it meant the end of my game and a return to the previous checkpoint.
Megaton Rainfall also shines with a nice variety of alien crafts that attack earth. Each craft seems to be at least somewhat vulnerable to a specific superpower meaning you have to wisely use certain abilities at certain times or save them as each takes a while to recharge. The ingenuity of these alien vessels means you may have some ships camouflaged against buildings you have to search out on one side of the city while on the other side vessels carry huge destructive balls at the end of a leash that bowls over anything in their way. Even the eventual ability to halt time does not always offer a reprieve from the constant onslaught, and the fun.
My biggest wish for the game though is that the narrative was a unique and varied as the aliens and powers bestowed upon you. Each mission starts with a disembodied voice offering a few words of advice and knowledge while you stare at some trippy lights. The vague overarching story adds little to the experience and seems to only function as bookends to acquiring the latest skill and felling the latest alien attack. While the purpose of your existence and how you came to be an immortal being who is tasked with saving humanity becomes more clear, in the end, the whole story rings hollow and is certainly not why you would want to pick the game up. This is also what keeps Megaton Rainfall from becoming one of the classic non-licensed superhero video games like inFamous or Psy-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. I truly hope that a sequel fleshes out our hero and the world around him because the superhero gameplay mechanics that Pentadimensional Games have crafted are near flawless and need to be experienced in a bigger, more expansive follow-up.
Verdict: Megaton Rainfall delivers exhilarating gameplay as you fill the shoes of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. The inventive superpowers are great fun to employ in destroying the alien invaders but it is the need to harness those powers to avoid collateral damage which is the game’s true genius. Pentadimensional Games have nearly perfected the mechanics of this first-person gem, next I hope they build a more compelling story around the experience.
- Amazing sense of scale from the macro to the micro
- Cool superpowers
- Great dynamic to accidentally cause more harm than good
- Flying is beyond fun
- Excellent variety of alien ships
- Weak story
- A few graphical glitches