Cover-based shooting is given a retro isometric slant in developer Roll7's Not A Hero, the London-based team's follow-up to skateboarding game OlliOlli.
The PC action game combines shooting, sliding and reloading — and the occasional kitten bomb — for a combo-based affair that sits somewhere between arcade classics Rolling Thunder and Elevator Action and Platinum Games' hyper-fast shooter Vanquish.
In Not A Hero, players lay siege to a building as a gunman, sliding into and out of cover, clearing rooms of enemy henchmen in an attempt to escape. In other missions, you'll have to hack terminals or paste up a series of political posters in support of BunnyLord, a purple bunny from the future with mayoral aspirations.
As you pop in and out of cover and move from floor to floor, the goal is to not only to kill every enemy, but to do so without taking damage, thereby extending your combo meter. The less damage you take and the faster you clear a building will further boost your score. This is a game about improving and ultimately perfecting runs, while doing so with a dash of bloody, headshot-laden style.
Sliding then stopping and popping off shots at foes is occasionally interrupted by the need to reload. The sound of your handgun's clip emptying draws the attention of enemies, who will rush you when they know you're unable to return fire. In those circumstances, the player has some recourse; they can frantically spam the reload button, perform an up-close execution kill or deploy one of Not A Hero's random special weapons (grenades, kittens with bombs attached, etc.).
Roll7 taps into a few action movie tropes with Not A Hero, letting players dramatically leap through windows and rappel to the floor below them, and draws upon familiar archetypes for its cast of killers.
In the demo version of Not A Hero we played, only Steve, a well-rounded character with a pistol was playable. He'll be joined by characters like the shotgun-wielding Cletus, and Jesus, who can shoot while sliding, but has no execution move. Other characters named by Roll7 include Stabatha Christie and White Lotus, who trade firearms for a knife and katana, respectively. Another gunman, Shush, who's armed with a silencer will provide a stealthier player option.
Not A Hero is currently in development for PC, Roll7 says, and will be published by Devolver Digital. While the version we played was controlled with a keyboard, and an early version of the game didn't play quite right on a gamepad, Roll7 creative director John Ribbins said, the team is considering console and handheld ports of the game.