Megaton Rainfall is a game that launched out of nowhere and was developed by one man as a labor of love across five years. Unlike most games I review, I had to actively hunt down the developer for a review code based on what I saw in the trailer.
This apparent “Super Man” simulator proved itself within the opening thirty minutes, easily blowing through any skepticism my predetermined bias had armed me with. Had you been in the room with me when I took off my PSVR after my first session, you would have seen the face of a speechless, stunned man. I flew between clouds. I flew right over the ocean’s surface, so close I could swear I was able to touch it. For all intents and purposes, I was Super Man, and I loved every second of it.
Starting the game as a creature birthed by an unknown “higher being” that refers to you as its offspring, all you know is that you are not human. Further info is denied until you complete your mission: to safe-keep the planet from intruders who intend to destroy the world. You are invincible, you can fly, and your prerogative is to save humans and their world. Now you see the Super Man reference?
Played from a first-person perspective with minimal hud display, all you have is a crosshair, a collateral damage meter, small icons for the special powers cooldown and a small arrow to tell you where the enemies are and where to go next. A pair of dissembodied hands are also present for added visual effect only; you can’t actually move them, but they add aesthetic value to the whole experience.
The tutorial level does a great job at exposing you to the beauty of the game. You engage in a game of tag with the higher being across the world, and right after I was able to dip into the water, something clicked for me, and I felt that the game carried potential. Not long after, you engage the first ”intruder” that is attacking a city and killing people while causing collateral damage and this is when the pressure of being a super hero strikes you, while you can’t be killed, the ”intruder” and yourself can easily wipe out humans like ants and this is when things get interesting.
Not long after, you engage your first intruder killing people and causing collateral damage in the process. This is when the pressure of being a superhero strikes you: while you can’t be killed, the intruders and yourself can easily wipe out humans like ants.
Your projectile attacks can easily dispose of any enemy if you hit its sweet spot, essentially a glowing red dot on their bodies, and they can not return the favor. Megaton Rainfall replaces the life bar with a kill counter: the more humans die at your hand or otherwise, the closer you get to failing your mission. With great power comes great responsibility. And with that, I would have successfully merged both the DC and Marvel universes in one review.
Megaton Rainfall follows the trend of dispersing philosophies and thought-provoking ideas to the player via the higher being who will offer allegories of the creation of humans and their purpose in this world. Nothing I hadn’t heard before, and though some may have an adverse reaction to its biblical approach at points–it’s 2017, can we think of better interpretations of the universe already?–the messages are presented nicely and do not interrupt the gameplay.
Each time you eliminate an attacking wave and take down the boss, an item is left behind called the ”xenosphere” that must be collected. There are 16 of them in total and when returned to the higher being will be rewarded with new or upgraded powers. Remember, though, that while you are getting tougher on your enemies, you are also becoming more of a danger to humans.
It was upon the death of the second boss that you are rewarded the titular power the Megaton attack. This attack can be triggered by holding down the attack button for a few seconds then releasing it. The result is an attack that I can only compare to a Kamehameha from Dragon Ball. As I approached a ship armed with a tractor beam abducting humans and vehicles, I deployed the Megaton attack. What I saw next is something so shocking, and as disturbing as any scene in the most traumatizing video game.
The attack was so over-powered, it disintegrated the enemy ship, hit the ground, and caused a mushroom cloud that not only killed thousands of people but also leveled an entire city. I just stood there, and asked myself if I was truly the hero the people were promised or was I a bigger threat than the intruders?
You will learn how to aim your attacks, how to fly between buildings and most importantly, how to keep the death toll to a minimum. You will also learn how frustrating it is to be a good being with so much power.
Some enemies are fast and nimble, others are huge and imposing, but all are well-animated and look alien and threatening enough for you to give your best shot. Fragile people and structures notwithstanding, it is amazing to see how everything falls to pieces with each attack, and is indeed a beautiful tragedy to see how well the engine in this game handles destruction.
In ways, Megaton Rainfall reminded me of No Man’s Sky except this game didn’t make a fuss about its launch and offers more breathtaking features. It has its limitations but take the whole experience with a grain of salt and you will enjoy the ride.
As a product of one person, technical issues are expected, not least being the low-quality graphics. True, there is beauty in this game when you consider its scale, and the clouds and water, but the texture mapping is almost not there, the game is blurry and over-relies on old-school trickery to convince you that you are in a huge open world.
Additionally, upon testing the game, a few graphical anomalies were present, nothing a minor patch can’t fix. Sadly a game-breaking, or rather, a game-crashing bug reared its ugly head once, but as I was playing the pre-release version, such bugs are expected to be patched with the final release.
It may not be the prettiest game ever, it may not have studio funding or a huge publisher attached to it, but what it has is an expeirence that will retain with you. If you have a VR device, you have no excuse not to play this and support indie developers in the process.
Megaton Rainfalll is available on PS4 (reviewed), PC. A review code was made available to us via Pentadimensional Games.