Is This The End? Doomsday Hunters Will Have The Last Say

It's a post-apocalyptic world, and that toothy twat Dracula has returned. Sort him out, will you? A Doomsday Hunters review for the switch.

You might find your match with Doomsday Hunters. Tall, dark, handsome… swipe right (or is it left? It might be a good idea to research these things before including them in an amusing joke.) What do you mean, ‘match’? If you’re looking for an entertaining rogue-like on Switch that offers a challenge, you’ve found it.

The press material said it took nine years to make. That could either set Moregames up for success or failure. On the one hand, it took this long, so it has to be good, but on the other hand, it raises expectations, which could result in “Meh, [insert whatever title you can think of] is better, and that took eight years”.

It didn’t help that Doomsday Hunters was giving me Chaos Engine chills. But, as a mature chap (pfft), I put that all aside and went in with a blank slate. The ‘chaos’ in Chaos Engine immediately presented itself after the intro sequence – a lot is going on. Take a breather; it’ll all be ok…

Doomsday Hunters release date
Source: PR

Doomsday Hunters Review (Switch)

Christ, the screen is busy. Not in the bullet hell sense (it’ll come), but the UI, button combinations and whatnot. The premise here is a post-apocalyptic world where Dracula, yes, that fella, has returned and unleashed a legion of demons on what remains of humanity. Your warrior drops in via airship like an SNK hero and takes them out, rescuing any useless NPCs along the way.

Doomsday Hunters is a rogue-like twin-stick shooter in the isometric aesthetic. Those chills from earlier were a good sign as I’m a 16-bit veteran and felt a wave of nostalgia. Moregames up that sentimental vibe by serving up scanlines from the get-go. Could this get any better? 10/10! But seriously, this game looks fantastic and mostly sounds the part if it weren’t for the music frequently fading to silence.

By default, you have a sidearm and main weapon – the former being infinite ammo, but it has a slight power handicap. There are weapon mods throughout, plus frequent weapon drops to swap out your existing gear. Level your character up through all the killin’, and there’s a chance you can unlock additional slots for more weapons.

Doomsday Hunters Switch Review - Merchant
Merchant. Source: PR

Perky

As Doomsday Hunters is a rogue-like, you need patience to progress. Each run can be pretty hectic, but there’s an enormous amount of mods to start with, such as lowering the difficulty – not directly – but adjusting health levels, damage, and the like, but at the sacrifice of getting better gear and bragging rights.

From the spacecraft hub, there’s the option to add permanent upgrades through a rather large skill tree, starting gear, selecting where to begin (pending you’ve unlocked the area), plus more. There’s a good deal of characters, too. These typically range from all-rounders to melee-focused to magic-type characters that consume energy to do some devastating damage.

And, if you’re feeling ripped off that there aren’t enough things on offer in Doomsday Hunters (are you mad!?!), there are special abilities to unlock and some truly badass specials that annihilate, but the accuracy is piss-poor, and it takes a while to generate.

Doomsday Hunters Switch Review - Too old
Too old for this sh… Source: PR

Perk Up

After the blanket of text walls explaining what each weapon does, what bonuses and perks are available, and how the mechanics work for skills and cooldowns, the game is intuitive, and you get a feel of what each item can achieve. More importantly, it has that quality critical to a rogue-like: replayability, plus the bonus one: fun.

Sometimes we grind these rogue-likes for completionist values, to see what’s around the corner for upgrades, or refuse to be beaten. In Doomsday Hunters, you keep playing because it’s fun, and there’s a chance you can better your last run as each one is unique from the last – similar to the excellent The Crackpet Show. Sure, the biomes look the same, but there are soooo many enemies and bosses. It’s wicked, y’all.

Admittedly, some of the characters are similar, but with cosmetic changes, and the core gameplay is much of the same raiding a ‘room’, clearing the area, moving to the next, and then killing the boss. But these are the blueprints for a decent rogue-like, and if you like this style of play, you’ll be in your element.

Verdict

Many of these retro games ‘inspired by’ types are a homage to some of the greats, but lack the charm. Doomsday Hunters can handle itself in the genre pool, but it goes the extra mile with tons of content, rewards, excellent visuals, replayability, and ultimately, satisfaction. Definitely recommended.