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Air Guardians (PC) Review

This game is bad.

“Oh, well that was a short review.”

It’s bad, and it’s really NOT worth any money, at all. Ever.

“Oh, slightly longer but still very short review. Good job!”

That feeling in your gut, right now. You feel…disappointed? Like something is missing? An introduction, perhaps? Now you know how I felt when I clicked [Play] in Steam. Boom, suddenly the game appears. No introduction cinematics or anything. Either the developer built everything himself and is very humble, or …he just decided not to include anything, because why bother? There’s usually either an opening cinematic, a splash screen, something. Even intro videos for the technology used. ANYTHING. Even a single black screen that says “The game is loading, hold on. Ok, here it is!”

Nothing. Just BAM, here’s the game. I will give it credit though, it wins the award for fastest launch and exit of any game, ever.  And boy, did I want to exit that sucker in a hurry. But let’s examine the why, because context is always important kids.

First off, the title is very misleading. Air Guardians: you’re neither a guardian made of air, nor are you a guardian of the air. I get the metaphor, but follow along with my experience of the game, and I’ll come up with a much more accurate title by the end.

 

And is not representative of the actual gameplay, because this game sucks.
This screenshot is more interesting than the rest of the game!

 

I couldn’t roll my aircraft left or right, and couldn’t tilt up or down. This must be what people during sleep paralysis feel like: you can experience things around you but you have no control over yourself. It’s like being in the world’s most bizarre and depressing roller coaster. Gravity works though; my aircraft was constantly falling downward. If this was a nihilism simulator about the futility of life, then it’d be 10/10. I happened to have a game pad plugged in, and it overrode which control scheme I was allowed to use. My bad, Air Guardians (accurate title TBD), unlike every other pc game in the last 15 years, you defaulted to something other than the keyboard/mouse, and wouldn’t let me change that. I don’t like having options taken away. Screw you, you fascist game. Oh, let’s call it Fascist Nihilism Simulator 2015 7/10.

By this point, my thoughts are feelings were pretty clear. Even though I got this game from a review key, I still felt ripped off and almost demanded my money back. Luckily, I didn’t, because then I would have looked like a fool! I also wouldn’t have been able to experience just how laughably fantastic(ally awful) this game is.

Why this game is worth some money (just not your money):

Poor quality. I’m actually going to count this as a plus, as it makes the game much more interesting and funny. Missing words, bad voice acting, terrible writing. It’s like those internet videos of people falling off of stuff, and you don’t want to watch because it’s horrible, but you can’t look away because it’s just so damn funny. The mission cinematic is perfection, and I say this with the caveat that I’m enjoying how bad this is. The writing and voice acting feels like that scene in Firefly/Serenity, where Wash is playing with the dinosaurs. That was intentional, this was not. New title: Unintentionally Funny Fascist Nihilism Simulator 2015 8/10.

 

These are your nincompoop allies. They’re very skilled at being killed and not very skilled at radio silence.

 

Points of Contention:

The radar detection distance is about a stone’s throw from my cockpit. Given the velocity at which you travel, that would equate to approximately 2 inches. Useful if I’m planning to shoot down mosquitoes, or if Ironman insists on hiding under the belly of the aircraft and won’t leave me alone. According to the controls menu, your missiles can’t effect ships. Which means my missiles can’t cause ships? I guess that would have been pretty cool. No ship-creating missiles, I’m heartbroken. The map itself is taken from Google Maps circa 2005. That year, in case you’re curious, is the year Google Maps was created, when they still used satellite images for the planet, and street view didn’t exist. I remember zooming in during school, and we’d all laugh at the low resolution of the top of our school. Ah, I miss high school (not really). Let’s call it Unintentionally Funny Nostalgic Fascist Nihilism Simulator 2015. 2/10.

At one point, the game tried to explain, with words, about which weapons to use when. The last sentence is cut off, “Missiles won’t track well if the…” IF THE WHAT?! TELL ME GAME, I NEED TO KNOW THIS! Now I’ll never know why my missiles won’t track well. Maybe if I hadn’t muted the audio, I’d know. But then I’d have to hear that rectum-clenching beep every time a mission starts.

There’s a quote from the steam forums for the game, which I feel compelled to share, because, well, let’s have a gander, boys and girls.

“[Explaining the things in the game]…Beyond that, the game is what it is. There’s no air brakes, ability to adjust the controls, or resolution settings. The current price is 4.99. Whether you think it’s worth that much is up to you. Thank you for considering to review the game. We’re not expecting people who we offer keys to, to give good reviews. Just their honest opinion of how the game stands, and to share it with their audience. ”

My editor called the entire situation “bizarre”, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a bad game, who’s developer has a bad attitude not only towards game development, but to the gamers he is charging to play this. It felt like I was experiencing the prototype for a class project in a game development class, only I was being charged a cover fee to enter the building.

The ground looks like it’s been taken from Google Maps, circa 2005.

If you’re looking to support game development, don’t buy this. Stay far away from it. I would actively take a break from steam and try to forget this game exists. Maybe go buy Strike Vector, that game is worth playing.

If you’re instead looking for a hilariously bad experience, one which will cement your close friendships for years to come by giving you the opportunity to bond over how utterly and hilariously awful this game is, convince your friends to buy this super wicked game, and play it with them at their house. Sure, you made a dick move and made them spend $5 that could have helped the planet in some small way. But in the end, isn’t friendship what it’s all about? That’s what anime and Unintentionally Funny Nostalgic Fascist Nihilism Friendship Simulator 2015 has taught me anyway.

About Daniel Spiler

From the frigid wasteland of Canada, Dan has been writing since the early years, when a blank piece of parchment meant a whole world was waiting for him to discover it at the tip of his quill. Then he grew up and realized he could never be like Harry Potter, so he turned to video games instead. He's now a fledgling Game Designer, working hard to make his mark on the industry. In his off-hours, he likes to scorn people who like long walks on the beach. Too much sand.

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3 comments

  1. A year old review, but still topical, because reading it is 1,000 times more fun than playing the actual game.

  2. I’m only sad that the site update wasn’t compatible with BG’s old scoring system. I forget what the actual number was, but I don’t think it was all that high.

  3. I’m glad you derived pleasure from my excruciating pain. I really hope this game stays on steam, if only for the very reasons I outlined in the article.

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