The upcoming side-scrolling shooter Shoot Many Robots, developed by Demiurge Studios is coming out in 2012 and Penny Arcade Expo attendees were able to try out the game for the very first time. This co-op shooter--best played either locally or with four players online--is your standard shooter, featuring tons of interesting weapons and enemies that are in serious need of a beating.
Controls were fairly straightforward; you have the ability to jump, slide, and melee enemies. Each character has a primary weapon with unlimited ammo and a secondary, stronger weapon that has a finite number of bullets but packs an absolutely devastating punch. These included a gnoming missile launcher, which shoots gnomes instead of your standard explosives; an ice cannon; a Gatling gun; and grenade launchers. While these are just a few of the weapons, the full list is quite extensive. Characters level up in the game, and as you progress through the story, you'll be able to unlock better weapons to buy. As your foes grow in strength, you will want to utilize the most powerful weapons available to progress.
We were able to play two modes in Shoot Many Robots. The campaign has you travel through various stages as you try to dispose of your robot foes. We played a level that took place in a mine, and there were tons of explosive materials at our disposal and various paths that we could take to reach the goal. Enemies were everywhere, and to take care of them efficiently, we needed to make quick and smart decisions. Your characters can die pretty quickly if you don't make smart choices, and even though your partner can revive you if you fall in battle, he or she won't be able to help you if the screen gets overrun with robots.
The other mode we spent some time with was Survival. As you would expect, the characters are placed in a scenario where they have to eliminate all incoming robots. There are five waves of enemies, and these are not short bursts. A single wave lasted what felt like a good one-to-three-minute spurt, and the three times we played Survival mode, only once did it go further than the second wave. Enemies varied by starting off with robots that were easy to kill. As time went on, they got significantly larger and more powerful, as well as littered the screen to the point that it was nearly impossible to get away, and we died a horrible death.
Shoot Many Robots should appeal to those who love run-and-gun shooters, especially those where there are so many different weapons at your disposal. There is a lot of character customization, including better gear to help you become a dominate force. Expect to hear and see more about the game in the coming months; it will be available on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC in early 2012.