Space Overlords review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4
Publisher: Excalibur Games
Developer: Excalibur Games/12 Hit Combo
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

For about five minutes, Space Overlords seems like it could be a decent game. It puts you down on a planet as some type of robot god, and gives you power to destroy every single thing on that planet. If you’ve ever played the EDF series and wished you could play as the bad guys, for a brief moment it seems like this game will grant those wishes.

Then the game drives straight into a wall, and everything immediately starts sucking.

I probably should’ve taken it as a warning sign that to get to those aforementioned few minutes, I had to spend at least as much time — if not significantly more — looking at loading screens. You start up Space Overlords…and you wait. You pick a robot…and you wait. You pick a level…and you wait…and then it shows a different screen…and you wait some more…and then it shows one last screen…on which you wait a moment before getting to play the game. Basically, any time you want to do anything in this game (at least in the Vita version — the PS4 version doesn’t suffer from quite the same issues), you need to be prepared to wait for several minutes.

Initially it seems the payoff to waiting might be almost worth it. It’s giant robots smashing buildings; that’s basically my definition of a fun game! The thing is, it quickly becomes apparent that the buildings aren’t very big, there’s no feedback telling you how hard you’re hitting them, and the smashing gets old pretty fast. The robot movements are slow and clunky, their attacks are weak, and they’re incredibly unresponsive to everything you want them to do. There’s also the fact there’s no rhyme or reason to how quickly enemy attacks drain your health.

And, to top it all off, the landscapes are bland and interchangeable, and outside of those final loading screens, so too are the robots.

Basically, Space Overlords consists of a game with a somewhat neat tutorial level, and barely anything else of note. If you ever find yourself wondering what you missed by not playing this game, just stare at a wall until the feeling goes away, since that’s a pretty good approximation of what you’d be doing with it, anyway.

Grade: D