clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nex Machina is an explosive spiritual successor to Smash TV and Robotron

Housemarque and Eugene Jarvis' twin-stick shooter is spectacular

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Resogun and Super Stardust developer Housemarque revealed its newest twin-stick shoot 'em up, Nex Machina, at this year's PlayStation Experience. Co-developed with Robotron: 2084 and Defender creator Eugene Jarvis, the PlayStation 4 action game spotlights the old-school, addictive arcade game design strengths of Housemarque when applied to a familiar — but much faster paced — formula.

Nex Machina plays like a blend of Resogun and Smash TV, the latter of which was co-created by Jarvis and Mark Turmell. While Smash TV (and Robotron before it) often forced players to stay constantly on their heels, running away from and gunning down waves of enemies, Nex Machina lets players be much more aggressive. As you can see in the five-minute gameplay video above, there's still the feeling of panic-firing against incoming hordes of enemies, but thanks to a dash mechanic that grants momentary invulnerability, players can push through crowds to shift momentum and snatch power ups.

Like Resogun and Robotron, one of the goals in each room of Nex Machina is to save the handful of humans who will eventually be consumed by the spawning mobs. And like Smash TV, the game peppers power ups like smart bombs, rocket launchers and weapon upgrades throughout each level.

The above five-minute run of the game's first level and a bullet hell boss fight against Beamtron took a good ten games or so to pull off. And considering the number of times I ran smack into a laser barrier and dropped combo multipliers, it's clear there's plenty of room to improve that score.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon