In the futuristic world of Armor Mayhem, Loussi's new action shooter, the world has run out of energy. Thus, major corporations send teams of faceless space marines to discover a new source. And, of course, once they find a planet filled to the brink with Unobtanium, they land and immediately start blasting each other in the face with lasers. It's not really all that surprising, considering that if you sent some faceless space marines out to get a loaf of bread at the grocery store, it's even money that there's going to be a rocket launcher fight in the dairy aisle. However, what Armor Mayhem lacks in plot depth, it more than makes up for with enough frenetic action to make Master Chief jealous.
Using the [WASD] keys, you direct your marines around various landscapes, clicking with the mouse to fire upon your competition. Various jump points and teleporters will quickly transport you around the level. In addition to your standard gun, other weapons are available around the levels, waiting to be picked up with the [S] key, and switched with your standard weapon with the [Q] key. Hitting enemies fills your bullet-time "adrenaline" meter, which can be activated by holding the [spacebar]. Each level has one of the several typical space-mariney objectives: Single Player and Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, er, I mean DataSphere, Territory Control, and the Oddball-like Overdrive. The [E] key can be used to give your teammates basic commands. Winning levels unlocks more maps and cash to be spent on new weapons and cosmetic upgrades. Now go faceless space marine... the emperor commands it.
Analysis: Armor Mayhem is an inspired combination of Halo and Chaos Faction. I very much like both of those, so, really, I was on board right from the start. The levels are well-designed, the game-modes offer a nice amount of variety, and the difficulty is challenging without being too brutal: every level feels like a battle that is hard-fought, but ultimately won. Also of note is the art style, which I really dug: it's filled with jutting angles and solid colors which is a nice change from the attempts at ultra-realism often found in the Space Marine sub-genre. It manages to be imposing without being gritty and simplified without being cartoonish.
There are a few things that are less inspirational, first of which being the campaign mission mode. It's not unexpected to have to play through it in order to unlock all the levels for custom battles, but it's kind of a pain, especially when the plot is so threadbare. Next, the weapon-pickups, while varied, are tiny enough to be hard to tell apart during play. This can be a problem since some are much more useful than others. I appreciate the ability to give my AI teammates commands, but in practice, it fell flat for me: they were often much more effective when I just let them do their own thing, rather than trying to look out for them. Finally, be forewarned that the game is quite processor intensive, to an extent that it locked up my browser a couple of times during play.
Even with the above caveats, there's much to love about Armor Mayhem. Shooter fans of all kinds will appreciate the engine's depth, and the platform elements extend its appeal beyond the genre. One can only hope that an online multiplayer variation is forthcoming. As much fun as the game is to play against the AI, this is an experience that would be great to share.
Update: A level editor has been added for the making and sharing of battlefields of your own devising!