Originally scheduled for release on the Vita as well, Not a Hero has come to the PS4 – just as the US election kicks off, this offers a different take on politics.
Phrases like “Let’s rid the world around us of crime!” are popular in elections, though the rhetoric might have changed over the years. Making the world a safer place is still as current a message as can be though, and Not a Hero is no exception. Aside, perhaps, from the fact that in this particular election the person running for mayor is BunnyLord – a purple rabbit.
Though the premise is somewhat out there, the gameplay is fairly straightforward. Not a Hero is a side-scrolling shooter with a pixelated look that features a high dose of two things: humor and violence. Taking care of the violent side of things is a band of hired guns, each with their own unique characteristics and skills. Who you choose to take into battle changes not just your approach to the level, but also the personality of the game. This is because Not a Hero is a very vocal game – and a very British one at that. BunnyLord himself has a clearly defined personality, as do the in-game characters. Very often, this means that there’s a lot of sarcasm and wit involved – though the results are hit and miss and not every joke hits the mark. If you’re a fan of British comedy like we are though, you’ll probably enjoy the overall tone a lot.
Looking past the witty exterior of the game, there’s a retro-styled shooter here that’s quite violent, though a few stealth tactics can break up the action momentarily. You can hide in the shadows, burst through glass windows or just skip all that and burst straight into the firefight. In most scenarios, you’ll be looking at a combination of these. The action, however, is always frantic and violent – the stealth elements do not suddenly make this an especially tactical game. The game’s 24 levels are mostly played through at a high pace – so you could get through the game relatively quickly if you wanted to.
There’s some extra content beneath all that though – because levels come with their own (optional) mini objectives. These are generally harder than the main objective, and will take you more time to complete – you’ll most likely also die more often, adding plenty of lasting appeal to the game. Because most achievements are fun to complete and fit nicely with the humor-filled plot, this is appealing to most gamers – though especially interesting for completionists looking to grab every trophy the game has available. Either way, Not a Hero is a fun game to play. Its distinct sense of humor might get in the way of some people’s enjoyment, but for those who enjoy British political satire, this is gaming gold.