When the time comes to look back at the development of console and PC games, one of the big moments will likely be the introduction of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3. The technology that was spearheaded by Epic’s master programmer Tim Sweeney has already locked down a boatload of upcoming games for next-gen consoles as well as the PC. While the console side got Gears of War as their first Unreal Engine game this past November, the first Unreal Engine 3 PC game was something a little different. RoboBlitz is a fun budget priced robot action game from indie game developer Naked Sky Entertainment that just happens to use a lot of the same graphical features as Epic’s best selling Xbox 360 shooter. After its release for the PC last month from various sources (including Valve’s Steam service) this week saw the release of the Xbox 360 version via Xbox Live Arcade.
The game has you controlling the lead character named Blitz. He (or it, or whatever) is a simple looking robot with a cute cartoon-like appearance and a ball bearing where his legs should be. As the game describes it, Blitz “must activate an aging Space Cannon to save his world from a band of maladjusted space pirates.” That’s pretty much all you really need to know as far as the game’s plot. It’s basically an excuse to hang a storyline around RoboBlitz’ design of a robot fighting other robots. One nice thing is that the game follows a non-linear path for the most part. You have six “hubs” that each hold three levels. You can enter any of the six hubs you want at any time; you aren’t forced to go to each hub in order. After completing the missions, a final level appears for Blitz to work through.
Even though it’s the first PC game to use Unreal Engine 3. RoboBlitz is by no means a hardcore action game. There is no blood and gore here; Blitz battles comical looking robot enemies small and large with a variety of weapon upgrades that you get as you pick up and collect green card like power ups that are called Upgradium (yeah, we smiled at that name too). The weapons that Blitz gets from his uprgrades range from simple EMP bursts that disable smaller bots temporarily, or standard guided rocket launchers, to an upgrade that allows you to fire energy “point-to-point” strings that link two objects together. There’s even a “hover gun” that causes objects that are targeted to hover in the air. In addition to both ground and air base robots, you also get a series of boss battles that happen at the end of every hub. The AI for the robots isn’t particularly smart, most of the enemies are fairly easy to defeat and even the bosses are quick to go under once you figure out their weaknesses.