Released back in March, the developer SmokeStab brought players a brand new rogue-lite game Orbital Bullet. Their newest release, Orbital Bullet, takes the genre and does a 360. So, how is the SmokeStab indie release? Find out in our review of Orbital Bullet.
Story: A shallow story in this new indie rogue-lite
Earth, making contact with another civilization. The Dread Corp. invades Earth, subjugating and enslaving the planet. With humanity facing extinction, the last humans form a resistance and begin operations against the Dread Corp. After facing a destructive attack, you manage to upload your consciousness into a cyborg, and now you set off on a destructive path to save humanity.
There is a story in Orbital Bullet, but most of it is told through images. The player will see these scrolling images at the beginning, after each boss, and at the end. There’s some text to tell the story, but that is it to the story. You’re not going to find any deep story with a lot of lore here. Just the basic story beats to get you through the game.
Gameplay: Smooth but frantic looped combat
Orbital Bullets takes the rogue-lite gameplay genre and puts it on a loop. The player will start in their headquarters, which will allow them to make changes to their character. Change your class, outfit, weapons, and other features that you’ll unlock as you play.
Once you finish your preparation, you’ll hop in the pod and land in the caves. Once you hit the ground, the entire layout is set up in a looped format. Set on circular stages, the player will have the freedom to move around the looped stage. Killing all the enemies throughout the location will allow the player to progress to the next, either by climbing up to the next area or through an elevator system. Finally, the player will have to move through various planets defeating each of the bosses at the end to obtain their icons.
The gameplay in Orbital Bullet is fantastic, offering a difficulty that isn’t anger-inducing. The 360 loop allows the player to gauge where everything is on the stage. However, seeing everything on the stage won’t help too much as the pace will quicken as it becomes more difficult. After that, it will just be a flashing show of gunfire between you and your enemies at specific points.
Weapons, abilities, and perks are well designed to work around the looped stage. Each weapon can be leveraged and, in many cases, upgraded to the point that it will fire almost entirely around the stage. Upgrading your perks and weapons is relatively easy, with most of it happening as you play.
Progression is natural, with little need to grind to level up. Every time we’d come up against a boss in our review of Orbital Bullet, the boss would take a little more damage before we died until finally, defeat. As a result, you never feel that you are not making progress with your character. The gameplay of Orbital Bullet alone makes it worth the recommendation.
Graphics/Audio: An 8-bit light show of gunfire set to an electric soundtrack
In Orbital Bullet, you find a mix of pixel and 3d graphics. The characters in the games are pixelated along with many of the objects the player will interact with. However, for the most part, the environments are 3d, and the two do well to create a great-looking mix. You see this art style in other indie titles, with Orbital Bullet feeling similar to Dead Cells.
You won’t find any issues in Orbital Bullet, graphically or otherwise. Its graphics won’t break your system, offering a game that most PCs can play. Orbital Bullet will provide a smooth experience with a bit of 8-bit nostalgia.
The sound, on the other hand, is fantastic. Orbital Bullet features a great soundtrack composed by Niilo Takalainen & Juha Korpelainen. You’ll be bouncing your head along to the feature electronica soundtrack. Unfortunately, at points in the game, no music plays in the background, just leaving the sounds of gunfire. It’s not for an extended period, but it’s noticeable. Outside of that, the soundtrack works excellent with the fast-paced combat of Orbital Bullet.
Conclusion: A great indie worth the recommendation
Even with a bare-bones story, Orbital Bullet makes up for it in other ways. Featuring a frantic, brightly light shooter with a well-chosen accompanying soundtrack with excellent level design and slick controls. SmokeStab does a fantastic job with their newest indie game.
Those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed, side-scrolling shooter will take up a few hours of your time. However, the SmokeStab game Orbital Bullet is worth a recommendation.
After reading our review, if you’re interested in the SmokeStab game Orbital Bullet, it’s available on PC via Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle for $16.99. Those interested can find more information about Orbital Bullet on its product website.
- Amazing soundtrack
- Smooth gameplay
- Clever level design
- Shallow story
- Background music will stop at times