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3.8/5 (85 votes)

Not Your War

Not Your War is a classic-style vertical shooter that feels like Robotron or Smash TV. Use the mouse and keyboard to control your small craft as you survive through 11 levels, taking on waves of enemy drones, fighters, and ships. Upgrade your ship and take down the Rhean forces in this challenging arcade title.

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8 Comments

This game sure is pretty! good sound and music too. The story is also interesting.

But the gameplay wasn't that fun..

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But yes, even the good aspects of the game have downsides. As the reviewer said, same music and same background..

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Love the aesthetic, but agree with comments that the gameplay is a little boring. Controls are decent (mouse-control aiming can be tough on a trackpad, but works well enough here) but the pace is slow-both player and enemy movement feel a little sluggish, and there is WAY too much of a pause between waves.

I always like upgrade paths, but would have preferred a "store" model rather than upgrades awarded after beating certain levels. I got to the "Heavy Drove Wave" level, for which the game recommends a specific set of upgrades. I didn't have one of them, and since there's no way to swap or earn more until I pass that level, I'm pretty much stuck. I'm sure I *could* beat the level if I tried enough times and got a bit lucky, but at this point it's no longer worth the effort. If I could replay old levels to earn points/money to spend on other upgrades, it would add value and decrease frustration.

But enough negativity. Let me repeat that I LOVE the aesthetics here. Dark, atmospheric, simple color scheme. Nice vanishing-point perspective on the level select map. Beautiful 3D-rendered art for the upgrade screen. Enemies are easy to differentiate, even on a crowded screen, and show damage so you know which ones are easy targets.

There was some nice work on the sound, too. The music is generic and repetitive techno, but the in-game effects are great-subtle but distinctive sounds for each weapon, enemy hits, explosions, etc. I do wish the sound design for the menus was more consistent-the music from the intro, or from each level, cuts out abruptly whenever you enter a menu screen, and the menus themselves don't have sound cues.

The "gritty back story" had some nice animation in the intro sequence, but seemed to suffer from a lack of context. I was intrigued enough to want more-extra detail & character development-either in the beginning, or tied into the progression of the levels. As is, it felt like a good premise was just tacked onto the game.

So: lots to like, lots of room to improve. Here's hoping for a sequel/redesign that addresses some of these issues. There's enough promise here for a truly badass shooter.

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Something March 29, 2011 4:32 PM

This game really sucked.

Doesn't scratch my quick "need to blow stuff up with cool weapons" itch at all.

The "unlocks" upgrades are really lack-luster.

I played untill I got 3 different upgrades and none of them really felt worthwhile.

Disappointing.

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David Goldfarb March 29, 2011 9:32 PM

I found this game oddly addictive. There's one glaring hole in the enemy's military procedure that I can't resist commenting on:

Their favorite weapon seems to be drones that try to kill you by ramming you. The drones are relatively slow, and easy to avoid or destroy except when present in very large numbers.

The enemy also has fighter jets that can literally fly circles around you. The jets (mostly) avoid ramming you.

Why don't they put the same engines on the drones as on the jets? I mean, it would make the game unplayably difficult, but supposedly this is a war. They're not there to make things easy on you.

(I know, I know, stop looking for logic in an arcade shooter game.)

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 9:37 PM

Could've been fairly enjoyable, except that the game froze up every half a minute or so, and I'd find myself on the opposite side of the screen with barely any HP left. Made the first general absolute hell to get to.

(And please don't say my computer is sucky, because it can run Crysis with almost everything set to very high).

That, and the upgrade system is quite annoying. Choosing the wrong upgrade means you are completely done for when the next level comes around - and you can't undo your upgrade, either. You'd think a programmer would know better.

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On the whole I'm not too impressed. I came here mainly to say that I felt that too many things in the game are too slow. Someone beat me to it, but I'll give details anyway. The reload time for missiles is too slow. The fire rate for the heavy cannon is too slow, at least when you consider that there's no way to upgrade it. Maybe worst, your fighter itself is too.

On the other hand, some of the enemy fighters are very fast and agile, making it necessary to be quite quick on the mouse to keep up with them. This I actually find pretty refreshing. It is nice to have a challenge, with enemies that actually present a some challenge and require some skill to even hit. Too many shooters just rely on you moving your ship or your cursor left and right to wipe out the enemies.

What I mentally compared this to the most were the Drakojan Skies games. I would say that Not Your War is kind of like a mini version of the Drakojan Skies games. Those games did many things right. They were more realistic than a lot of shooters, had very nice graphics for free browser games, gave quite a cinematic experience, did a good job at telling their stories, were very fun to play without requiring massively overpowered, unrealistic weapons, and the difficulty seemed very high to me. This game actually feels a lot to me like someone liked the formula in those and some other games and tried to copy it, but basically came up short. It's OK, but there are just a lot of things about it that just don't feel right. In addition to all the slow firing and reloading and such, I was also pretty disappointed that by the end it still took two shots from the standard gun to kill the weakest enemies in the game. I think that's pretty close to unheard of for shooters like this, and combined with the huge number of the things protecting the bosses, it makes the boss fights a lot more difficult than I would have liked. Perhaps requiring money to upgrade the ship would have been a better way to do it. In any case, I really wasn't all that impressed by the upgrades in the game, or a lot of other things. I would say 2.5/5.

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Great visuals!!

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