Spiral Game Studios, the developers of that dinosaur game which released as a poor game and then changed its name thousands of times until it became an actually good game (it’s now called ORION: Prelude), have recently released another game in the same universe, and this one is extremely similar to the other one in spirit. That’s a good thing, as it seems to have only maintained the good things from its previous iteration: the art style is beautiful, the gameplay is fun (although a bit clunky at the moment), and the co-op nature of the game makes for some great gaming sessions with friends.
The new game, called Guardians of Orion, is a top-down shooter, in which you team up with your friends (or play solo), in order to survive or protect an objective against waves of dinosaurs and robots. It is described as being “a Hyper-Adrenaline, Sci-Fi Shooter featuring Dinosaurs and Robots focused on Accessibility, Over-The-Top Gameplay, Power-Ups, 4-Player Survival Co-op Multiplayer, Destruction, Gibs, Gore and more!”. Its store page also states that although the game is the spiritual sequel to ORION: Prelude, in terms of story, it is a prequel.
Guardians of Orion is currently in Early Access, and it regularly costs 10 bucks, but just like the previous ORION game, it often goes on sale for just one dollar. In fact, at the time of writing, the game is on sale, and it will be on sale until March 3.
As long as you get it while it is on sale, you will get a lot of bang for your buck: although the game is obviously not finished yet, and it is quite barebones, its developers are doing a great job updating it with new content. The February update for the game brought a new player class, the Pyro, along with new fire weapons, such as a flamethrower and napalm grenades.
One of the best things about the game, in my opinion, is that players can freely switch between the default top-down view and a third-person view, both having their pros and cons. The top-down view gives you a better view of the area around you, thus letting you see incoming hostiles better, but the third-person view gives you more accuracy and lets you shoot at enemies above you. The developers have also announced a first-person view, which will be coming later this year in a free update.
The enemies in Guardians of Orion are well-designed, but they aren’t without their flaws. On one hand, you have a broad variety of enemies with unique attacks, from flying dinosaurs to sword-wielding robots which can quickly deplete your health. On the other hand, some of the enemies, such as the smaller dinosaurs can be extremely hard to hit in both view modes, and some enemies can be made redundant by simply using your jetpack.
All in all, Guardians of Orion is a great experience for a small price, made even better by playing with some friends. It allows you to defeat hordes of dinosaurs by using high-tech weaponry, from futuristic assault rifles to flamethrowers. As long as you get it while it’s on sale, you will not be disappointed by your purchase.
PS: If you want to play a good top-down shooter, but don’t feel like shelling out any money, you should give Alien Swarm a try. It’s made by Valve, its user interface and gameplay is similar to Left 4 Dead 2, and in fact, it is basically a top-down Left 4 Dead title, set in a sci-fi universe in which aliens and parasites have attacked mankind. You also get a nice hat for Team Fortress 2 for completing a few levels!