Review: Plain Sight

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I have always believed in and supported the notion that games with a single good idea executed well are great games. Plain Sight is such a game. It is a multiplayer-focused action game that is an absolute blast and does exactly what it sets out to do – and is a great value for the $10 normal price.

As the developers tell it, Plain Sight is a ‘multiplayer arcade game about suicidal ninja robots.’ Yeah, that pretty well sums it up. You control a robot armed with a katana, and you need to take massive leaps around a crazy world and destroy other robots. This allows you to gather up their energy, which makes you bigger, stronger and faster…and also a target for other robots who want to take YOUR energy! You can’t take advantage of all of this newfound energy unless you can go back to the shop and upgrade yourself.

So how do you upgrade yourself? Press a key and blow yourself up! This converts your energy to points – and even better if you have a number of enemies around you when you go supernova! The more enemies you take out, the higher your points. And once you have killed yourself, simply upgrade your robot if possible, and launch yourself back into another match.

There is a ton of content here – 13 different maps, multiplayer support for up to 20 players at once, 30 robot upgrades and an offline practice mode. There are five different game modes as well: Deathmatch, Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Robozilla!, Lighten Up, Team Deathmatch / Weakest Clink, and Capture the Flag. Aside from the frenetic deathmatch mode, I loved Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Robozilla! mode, in which you join up with other players to take out the giant robozilla!

Visually the game is spartan yet highly stylized. I can imagine that the desire to have as many players as possible and huge leaping areas necessitated more simplistic maps, but the developers compensated by making the robots have a simple yet stylized look. Light-lines follow robots around as they move, and all of the surfaces have a soft Tron-like glow. The same is true with the soundtrack and ambient sounds – not much of note, but it goes well and serves to allow focus on the main game.

The only complaint is the inability to set up games with friends directly without using a dedicated server. Not the end of the world, certainly, but particularly with Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Robozilla! mode it would be great to work with a group of friends to take down yet another friend and rotate who is playing the Robozilla.

But that doesn’t detract from the great fun that Plain Sight offers. It is a simple and fun game that is a blast to play with others online for little bursts of explosive robo-ninja fun!

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Pros:
+ Cool visual style
+ Inventive gameplay
+ Budget price

Cons:
– Single-minded approach can get stale quickly

Game Info:
Platform: PC (PS3 and WiiWare versions planned for Q1 2011)
Publisher: Beatnik Games
Developer: Beatnik Games
Release Date: 4/5/2010
Genre: Multiplayer Action
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Players: Up to 20
Source: Review code provided by publisher

About the Author

I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!