With a combination of a powerful, classic Western feeling and excellent art and graphics, Dusty Revenge, a game by PD Design Studio available on Desura for Windows and Mac, was a game I felt I could really enjoy. The character design looked interesting, the combat in the 2D sidescroller looked great, and the game seemed like it would be colorful and fun. Sadly, I found myself disappointed.
Dusty Revenge is the story of Dusty, a rabbit whose only loved one was murdered in a house fire. As expected from the title, Dusty decided to go out and get revenge on those who killed his girlfriend. Heading off into the nearest town, the player finds Dusty immediately being attacked by rats, bulls, and other animals all seeking to kill him off. Dusty, at his disposal, has light attacks in the forms of kicks and punches, strong attacks in the form of a huge scythe, and ranged attacks in the form of dual pistols and a shotgun.
From the start, I felt the combat held potential. The number of possible attack combinations was great and varied, the different enemy types made fighting a challenge and forced you to think, and the game even featured a progression system where you could level up to unlock new combinations for killing off your enemies. However, I felt that the actual execution of the combat was lacking. Controls, at times, were unresponsive, the dodging and blocking mechanics seemed useless, and I often felt like it wasn’t my fault when I couldn’t get out of an enemy deathtrap. For the type of game it was intending to be, the combat felt too slow.
As you progress through the game, you continuously move to the right, as in most sidescrollers, and platform across obstacles. The game allows you to double jump and, on holding down the jump key, use Dusty’s ears as a parachute to glide a decent distance for those long jumps.
The art direction in the game, while visually appealing, added another problem. The level art for all of the platforms and obstacles often felt misleading. I found that I often missed a platform or couldn’t climb up onto another box because their size didn’t adequately match their hit zones. While this didn’t ruin the game for me, it did make progression a bit more annoying.
During the first couple of chapters, Dusty winds up teaming up with two different characters. Rondel, a huge bear packing heavy artillery, can help Dusty with enemies and obstacles by firing rockets into combat and at anything blocking Dusty’s path. McCoy, a dog with a sniper rifle, helps Dusty pick off enemy snipers out of his reach and finish off the enemies he beats into submission. The two characters add an interesting mechanic to the game of calling in allies mid-combat to progress. This ability adds a level of gameplay onto the main combat system which gives a welcome break from the monotony of just beating up foes repeatedly. This was one mechanic I feel they pulled off well.
What annoyed me the most in the game were the story and the characters. I felt nothing for any of the characters. I felt no sympathy, no love, and certainly didn’t feel that I knew them enough to care if they failed or succeeded. Dusty’s voice acting in all of the cutscenes felt dry and emotionless. I didn’t feel his anger, I didn’t feel his lust for revenge. All I felt was a hollow shell of a character that could have been so much more, and his two companions that I knew even less about, act as vessels for me to progress through the game.
Overall, the game has potential and looks great, but it could have been so much more. My experience with the game felt grating, and I often put the game aside for great deals of time. I don’t recommend it.
This game was reviewed using a copy provided by the developer for that purpose. It was played on a Windows PC.
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