As gaming technology improves and the boundaries of what is possible in video games expands, it will inevitably lead to games that offer some truly unique experiences. While Megaton Rainfall’s premise of protecting the world from an alien invasion seems pretty standard on the surface, it’s in the execution where we truly see how the game is able to stand out from the crowd and even set some new standards. It may not be the most robust gaming experience, but it’s a very solid foundation for potential future greatness.
First and foremost, Megaton Rainfall is an action game that is set in an open world environment, though it is set on a massive scale. You play as a powerful being known as the Offspring, who has been brought to life by a mysterious presence that has tasked you with protecting Earth from an doom-bringing aliens. As you descend upon Earth you are tasked with zooming around at breakneck speeds to destinations all over the planet to try and take out the aliens currently in the process of causing total destruction.
The aliens that we’re dealing with here aren’t your typical big head and green skin sci-fi ilk, but instead are monstrous being that take the form of aircraft, giant worms and even city buildings themselves. Also, they are pretty smart and know when they’re in the midst of a losing battle, resulting in them fleeing the scene and requiring you to chase them literally around the world. You’re main goal is to shoot these baddies down with your energy blasts, which become stronger throughout the game as you learn more abilities.
While taking these enemies down usually doesn’t take long, there are several obstacles in the way that make the process more difficult. First of all, there is no lock-on whatsoever, so this means that you’ll be firing blasts at them like mad and needing to be as precise as possible in order to land kill shots. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal on the surface, but it becomes a crucial aspect of Megaton Rainfall when you realize that you can cause just as much damage to Earth as the aliens can.
You see, the aliens will typically lead you to a city, and then you’ll need to maneuver around buildings to find them and then bring them down. However, every blast that you fire that misses will likely hit a building, causing the death of civilians and the city’s overall health to decrease. If the city’s health reaches zero by either the alien’s attacks or your own, you need to do the section over. This adds a solid amount of tension to the gameplay, as you truly feel like you’re trying to defend humanity and failing to do so and hearing the screams of those perishing is a pretty crappy feeling.
The visuals that are on display in Megaton Rainfall aren’t the most impressive that you’ll see on PlayStation 4, but the game more than makes up for it with its massive scale. As you fly high above the Earth’s surface and are traversing countless miles in a matter of seconds, it truly feels like you’re traveling across the entire planet. It’s pretty obvious with that amount of scale that the developers wouldn’t be able to render the most impressive visuals when you get up close and personal with the textures, but that’s a concession that’s easy to accept. The thrill of soaring faster than a speeding bullet to take down some alien scum never gets old.
As hinted at previously, as you make your way through the brief campaign you will gradually get more powerful in order to better be able to take out the increasingly-difficult enemies. You’ll be able to do things like freeze time and shoot out an energy blast that decimates anything in its path, but these abilities need to be recharged after each use and thus must be used sparingly. The enemies match this by moving more quickly, attacking in greater numbers and even mimicking the looks of buildings in order to confuse you. The game’s intensity scales pretty well throughout the campaign, as you get more powerful but never feel so powerful that the missions become easy.
If there’s any true criticism to be made about Megaton Rainfall, it’s simply that it feels like a warm up for something that could be truly spectacular in the future. The story is bare bones and it’s all over in a handful of hours. However, it’s hard not to get excited about the potential of what this game could lead to. Imagine having a Superman-style game with a big budget made from the foundation of this game? That would be something truly impressive, and I hope that either developer Pentadimensional Games or someone else takes this formula and just runs with it.