I love twin stick shooters. So when I get a chance to play a twin stick shooter with an emphasis on co-op, it’s an easy sell. After all, the original great twin stick shooters were arcade games that allowed for a second player. From Space is a neon drenched take on alien invasion, and tasks you with taking down the alien population. Might as well bring some friends.
From Space is a twin stick shooter with an emphasis on co-op play. In it, you play as one of six specialists as you fight against waves of neon pink enemies, completing objectives, and acquiring new weapons and skills as you go. It sounds like the recipe for hours of co-op entertainment, right? From Space has some great ideas, and even executes them pretty well. But then why is everything so damn boring?
I have to say, I was initially impressed with From Space. It had some pretty graphics and some great lighting effects that really pulled me into its alien invasion setting. Even the pink aliens, which looked generic to me in promotional art, ended up being interesting and even attractive to look at—well, as attractive as pink slime monsters with teeth can be. Despite its initial appeal, however, From Space is a surprisingly boring game, and that’s because of a number of factors.
While From Space has exciting moments—like screens full of aliens to mow down with various weaponry—it didn’t really do a good job of keeping my attention. Weapons, at first, felt good to fire. I expected to accumulate more firepower as the game progressed, but at a certain point, it felt like the newer weapons I was receiving were a downgrade rather than an improvement. Player progression also was lacking. Along with new weapons, you can also unlock different perks that go into up to six unlockable slots. And while From Space does a good job creating the visuals of a world being invaded by aliens, the level design itself is unexciting. Enemy, missions, and level design is also lacking as you perform the same tasks over similar levels fighting similar enemies.
From Space has a massive emphasis on co-op play. While it can be played in single player, even its Steam store page urges you to squad up. I did not, since my playtime was spent in prerelease, I had no one to squad up with. Even if I did play with friends, I don’t think the inherent fun of having my buddies along would save this game for the fundamental problems it has.
It’s almost like From Space spends too much of its time trying to be visually impressive, instead of fun. Each enemy type has a Borderlands style introduction, which, at this point, please stop. And each of its pink aliens are so visually similar it felt even more unnecessary here. But From Space is sometimes so visually busy it’s hard to tell what’s even happening on the screen. Most egregious are the pop-ups that have vital information, but doesn’t pause the game. You’re forced to die to read them, or dismiss them to live without having time to read the text.
From Space should have been released as an Early Access title, as it definitely needs more development time. It’s possible that From Space can still be turned into a fun game through updates, but right now it’s a twin stick shooter with lackluster progression—and it just isn’t that fun to play.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review