Those who prefer the middle ground between 2D and 3D games will always have 2.5D video games to fall back to, as these games stick to two-dimensional conventions while being enhanced by three-dimensional graphics.
What is uncommon in 2.5D games, however, are 360-degree level designs, where instead of being able to go left and right in a level, players walk on a rotational axis. Games like Klonoa and Super Mario Galaxy have used this perspective in certain levels.
This is where Orbital Bullet comes in, a game that adheres to this unconventional perspective and makes it a key feature of the game. Combined with its roguelike gameplay and mix of sprites and 3D models for its graphics, this game is a wholly unique experience.
A clear hidden gem of 2022’s slate of indie games, Orbital Bullet may the perfect game for those looking for bite-sized challenges that will leave you wanting more.
In Orbital Bullet, you play as a vengeful cyborg looking to defeat the evil space conglomerate, Dread Corp. This, of course, leads to an interstellar roguelike through procedurally generated planets, deadly enemies and bosses, and an infinite way to upgrade your character.
As mentioned earlier, the game takes place entirely on a 360-degree rotational plane, which also means that projectiles traverse in this 360-degree pattern, allowing players to curve their bullets to hit enemies from behind.
This makes for some of the most satisfying 2D gunplay, which is supplemented with a wide range of firearms at the player’s disposal. From standard shotguns to grenade launchers, knowing the lay of the land is part of the fun.
While it is, for the most part, a fast-paced run-and-gun shooter, Orbital Bullet thankfully pays homage to its platforming influences, which means that beyond shooting, players can jump on enemies and even unlock a ground pound.
Throughout each run of Orbital Bullet, players will be able to travel to a handful of different planets with different biomes like a mining moon or a planet with a jungle temple. The goal is to defeat the evil Council Member bosses of the Dread Corp to unlock the final levels.
Since this is a roguelike, expect a lot of dying as you slowly accrue more and more Nanobytes, the currency used to unlock permanent upgrades. This is one of the best parts of Orbital Bullet, as the progression system is pretty satisfying.
As players begin a run, there is also a dynamic skill tree that they can use to make each run unique in terms of their abilities. This is where skills like the aforementioned ground pound or a drone follower can be unlocked.
Beyond that, there are also four classes to unlock, namely the turret-carrying Engineer, the fire-fueled Hellion, the critical hit-focused Mercenary, and the berserker-like Marauder. Each of these classes also has its own skill tree.
These extra skills and powers will definitely help against the many different enemies that the players will encounter. But if players hone their platforming and shooting skills, Orbital Bullets’ challenge can be overcome.
Orbital Bullet may not feature a more engaging story like Hades or a more fast-paced platforming style of 30XX, but all in all, it is still a fun time. It is a game that we recommend playing in short bursts instead of one long session.
The game has some minor bugs that the developers are still ironing out, but we think that won’t take anything away the core gameplay of Orbital Bullet. It is like a bite-sized take on the original Risk of Rain, with the 360-degree perspective that really flips the formula on its head.
Just like its fellow game Itorah, publisher Assemble Entertainment will donate ten per cent of the revenues of this game’s Save the World edition to the non-profit organization Ocean Cleanup, which develops advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic.So if you’re looking for a fun roguelike while donating to a great cause, check out Orbital Bullet on Steam.