Nuclear Throne Review

Nuclear Throne is a roguelike bullet hell game released in 2015 for $17 AUD, with your goal being to clear the level and make it all the way to the throne at the end. It can be played on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The maps, pickups, and enemies are randomly generated, giving a new experience every time. 

There are over 100 unique weapons in Nuclear Throne: shotguns, rifles, melee weapons and more! Each weapon suits different play-styles and maps. For example: the bouncing shotgun for reaching behind corners, or the crossbow for long distance sniping. Each character also gives you different strategies, such as Fish being able to roll, therefore dodging shots and being able to go in close and risky for big damage. I love how there are many different combinations there could be for some interesting load-outs. 

Image: Vlambeer

Something else about the game I like is the unique enemies. Alien goop spitting creatures, a massive rat spewing out more rats, alligators with shotguns, exploding robot snipers, the list goes on. Each area has a distinct set of weird creatures, and a massive boss at the end which stops you from reaching the next area. Every character has their weaknesses and their strong points, such as assassins being fast and powerful but lacking any range, or the big walking frogs that can deal a pretty decent amount of damage but can be easily dealt with. 

Although these are some cool things about the game, I still haven’t talked about the biggest feature of the game – leveling up. After shooting a few baddies and picking up the rads they drop, you will be presented with a mutation screen once you reach the goal for that level. This is a literal game changer. These abilities can change your entire strategy on the spot, making you pivot between different loadouts and alter how you approach things. Some of my favorites are long arms (gain extra melee range), second stomach (grants more hp from health drops) and gamma guts (enemies touching you take damage). 

Image: Vlambeer

Sadly, because of everything in the game being randomly generated and luck based, I have gotten a little annoyed as it feels like sometimes, I get really good loot and I make it really far, but other times the map generation is unfavorable and all I have is a disc gun and a screwdriver. But that is just how RNG works. 

Despite the game having a hint of luck required, this game still mostly relies on skill. It’s very difficult and I took quite a while to be able to beat the first area. And that is what makes the game so fun. Even after you beat the game, you end up just unlocking more characters and more rewards to make next time different. The replay-ability in this game is awesome, and the only time I ever want to stop playing is when I die to a singular maggot. Overall, Nuclear Throne is a great game, and I would recommend that you go check it out.  

By YellowThing

Yellow has been enjoying playing a large variety of games for years now - from Portal to Stardew Valley, from Civilization to XCOM. Outside of gaming, he also enjoys listening to music and having a good time with his friends.

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