Abstraction Games (PS4)
|Release date(s)||2 May 2012 (PSN/XBLA)
1 August 2012 (PC)
7 December 2012 (OS X)
29 May 2013 (Linux)
4 March 2014 (PS4)
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
|Distribution||Download (PlayStation Network, Steam, Xbox Live Arcade), Xbox One|
Awesomenauts is a 2D battle arena developed by Dutch video game development company Ronimo Games. The game puts two three-member teams against each other, attempting to kill the other team, destroy defense turret, and sufficiently damage their base to win the match. The game contains over 12 different playable characters with a variety of different statistics and skills, with many of the characters voiced by YouTube video game commenters.
The original game was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles in May 2012, and for Microsoft Windows systems in August 2012. The game has since been ported to Mac OS and Linux systems, and, along with the Windows version, routinely expanded with new characters and gameplay expansions, including the new characters and modes introduced by the Kickstarter-backed Awesomenauts: Starstorm expansion. A new version of the game Awesomenauts Assemble, incorporating all the changes and additions on the Windows side, was released for the PlayStation 4 in March 2014, and will be released for the Xbox One in the near future.
Awesomenauts is a multiplayer online battle arena, or Dota-style game; though it includes many gameplay elements from 2D platformer and Fighting games. Matches are primarily 3 versus 3, and the goal is to destroy the other team's Solar collector (also known as "The Drill", or "The Base" when it is breached) while defending your own Solar Collector.
To access the other team's collector, two or more automated turrets must be destroyed. Turrets have a high amount of health and deal lots of damage, and attacking a turret alone can result in the character taking heavy damage if they get too close while unprotected. Each team is assisted by automated droids that can attack the players, enemy droids, turrets, or collector on the other team, allowing the player-characters to focus their attacks on key strategic points. There are three types of droids: Buzz Droids walk on along the ground towards the enemy and have a melee attack. They are automatically created in groups of 2 or 4 at the collector and gain a shield when struck by turret, allowing them to take large amounts of punishment when near an enemy turret. In addition, when a team destroys an enemy turret, a Super Droid will spawn at their collector that has higher health and carries a ranged, high-damage bazooka. The last type of droid is a Humming Droid, found only on certain maps or with certain player abilities, these have low health but hover above the ground and have a higher damage ranged attack.
At the start of a match, each player selects one of several mercenaries (Awesomenauts), each with their own common attack; two special moves and their own way of moving about the map (jetpack, flying, jump, double jump etc.). Each Awesomenaut also has their own theme song, and a remixed version played when the player has a killing spree. No team can use the same character twice, though the same character may be played on the other team. Players can optionally select a costume for that character, which are available as in-game rewards or downloadable content, but otherwise offer only cosmetic changes. Initially, the game released with a "loadout" mechanic that players could select which perks for their attacks, special attacks, and general buffs they could purchase in-game (three of six available in each category), but a later patch removed this, allowing the player to instead determine these perks mid-game, allowing them to be more reactive to team make-ups and strategy. Such perks include damage boost, duration extensions, slowing the enemy, shorter cooldown periods, additional health, faster movements, range increases, and increased Solar generation. If not all slots for the 3-on-3 match are filled, computer-controlled players are used, though these can be replaced mid-match as other players log in.
In match, the players are launched into the arena/map via a drop-pod and given the opportunity to collect some Solar (in-game currency) on the way in. The player collects Solar laying about the map or by killing droids, enemy players, or turrets. At any time, the player can either work their way back to their base, or teleport there (though they cannot be hit during this otherwise the teleport will be disrupted), where they could heal and spend Solar on the aforementioned perks. If a player is killed, the other team receives a large Solar reward, and the player will have to wait a few seconds before being launched back into battle, with the wait time increasing for each subsequent death and duration of the match (in order to assist the attacking process as the game progresses). Players' health and their current "level", based on how much Solar they have collected, is visible to all players, allowing teams to focus on specific characters. Each map in Awesomenauts has a different layout and has some unique feature, such as a worm that swallows players whole or a stealth power up.
Awesomenauts features two larger meta-games. First, the player gains experience after each match based on whether the match was won or lost, how experienced their opponents were, and other factors. For each experience level, the player can gain access to new arena characters and additional perks to select from for these characters. Once the maximum level has been reached, players have the option to "prestige" which will reset their level to 16 and place a special icon next to their name. There are 10 levels of prestige for players to progress through. Further, most matches are played on ranked servers (albeit the game's netcode uses a peer-to-peer model for connecting players to each other), allowing the player's performance to be tracked. The player is assigned a league number (ranging from 1 to 9, 1 being best), which is used to aid in matchmaking for online modes.
Up to six online players can compete in a single match. Up to three players using the same local computer with additional input controls can also join on ranked matches, with all three playing on the same. The game include practice modes and the ability to set up private arenas which are not ranked.
In August 2013, Ronimo games started Kickstarter campaign for additional content entitled Awesomenauts: Starstorm. The goal of the project was $125,000. By the end of the Kickstarter campaign, over $345,000 had been donated on via Kickstarter, with PayPal bringing the total to over $400,000. Several stretch goals were reached, including the extra map, replays and spectator mode. Donations are still ongoing through PayPal on awesomenauts.com. In addition to the three new characters planned for the expansion: Ted McPain, Skree and Sentry X-58, two extra characters will be included as stretch goals for them were met. Ronimo Games' studio head Jasper Koning said the company opted to go to Kickstarter for further development due to their bad experiences with their console publisher DTP Entertainment, who had gone bankrupt after Awesomenauts release on console, but whom they still must pay from every sale of the game.
The game received fairly positive reviews upon its release.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2012)|
- "Awesomenauts: Starstorm". Kickstarter. 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
- "Awesomenauts: Starstorm". Kickstarter. 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
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- Parkin, Simon (2012-05-01). "Awesomenauts Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- "A MOBA For The Rest of Us - Awesomenauts - Xbox 360". www.GameInformer.com. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Light, Austin (2012-05-11). "Awesomenauts Review - GameSpot.com". M.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Dyer, Mitch. "Awesomenauts Review - It's Dangerous to Go Alone".
- Lees, Matt. "Awesomenauts Review".
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