I’ve played my fair share of platform shooters in my day. Going all the way back to childhood, I can recall sinking a ton of quarters into Metal Slug machines at my local laundromat or pizza parlor, not content to just sit around and wait the 20 minutes to an hour before we’d head home (those were impossibly long times as a kid.) One thing I remember being shared across every platformer I played was that I was terrible at them, but I had fun.
I got the opportunity to try out Soda Crisis before its release date, beyond the demo currently available in the Steam store. I wondered if I would still be just as bad at the game as I was on those old arcade platformers.
I was right. At plenty of points in this game, I found myself failing to make jumps I should have made easily, or failing to understand the most simple of platform puzzles. Taking damage from shots I should have seen coming and easily jumped over or dodged through, I quickly realized that maybe this genre wasn’t for me.
But it wasn’t purely my fault. Soda Crisis is an exceptionally pretty game, one that I had more fun looking at than playing. I often found myself distracted not only by the beautiful backgrounds but by the interesting enemy designs and the pretty bright effects coming from their guns. At times I was like a deer in headlights, realizing too late that “oh, that pretty thing I’m enjoying looking at so much is trying to murder me.”
The art style in Soda Crisis is definitely something the game has going for it. It feels almost like a cardinal sin at this point to release a platformer without a unique, interesting and beautiful art style. Soda Crisis most definitely does not disappoint in that regard. The visuals are absolutely stunning, with a cool soft minimalist future style that reminds me of a refined version of Overwatch’s visual style. Not that I’d compare the two; Soda Crisis definitely has its own thing going on, and is very unique in its presentation.
I can’t give enough praise to the visuals in this game, especially when it comes to the backgrounds and effects of things like missiles and bullets whizzing directly toward my face, but I don’t want to give the impression that good looks are all this game have going for it. A video game has to have engaging gameplay, otherwise it’s just a visual novel, and Soda Crisis most definitely delivers.
Soda Crisis is fast-paced, and I mean fast. There were plenty of times where I failed to process that a new enemy even showed up, much less was the reason I was taking damage. That’s not to say the game is overly hard, just that I’m probably not the intended audience to experience this game. Fans of the sidescroller genre will likely find the pacing of this game refreshingly challenging, but not overwhelming.
The game does a good job of making you feel like an unstoppable killing machine. The hordes of enemies, though challenging if you let your guard down, are easily mowed down by the player’s arsenal of weapons and upgrades. Upgrades, by the way, are plentiful and impactful, allowing you to customize your character the way that suits your playstyle the best, making the game all the more engaging.
The game’s movement systems allow you to outsmart and outmaneuver the otherwise overwhelming hordes of enemies. From wall jumping, grappling, dodging and more, Soda Crisis gives you a plethora of tools to conquer its challenges, making it a truly engaging puzzle platformer that only becomes more rewarding as you delve deeper into it.
I will say I struggled to understand what was going on, but I feel like that wasn’t totally necessary for the enjoyment of this game. It certainly didn’t stop me from enjoying the characters. I was a big fan of all of the enemies in the game, especially the one who reminded me of a certain senator from Metal Gear Rising.
I might not be the intended audience for Soda Crisis, but it’s easy to appreciate this game for what it is. The developers put a ton of love and effort into this game, and it shows plainly in every aspect I could imagine.
I want to give extra praise to the game’s astonishing visuals. The world created for Soda Crisis is phenomenally pretty to look at, and I found myself lost especially in the sprawling backdrops just behind the platforms. Be it a rolling sea of clouds or the post-apocalyptic ruins of a long-forgotten city, Soda Crisis is shockingly adept at creating beautiful scenes I won’t soon forget.
The Final Word
If you’re a fan of puzzle platform shooters, you can’t go wrong with Soda Crisis. The game simply does everything wonderfully. From the atmosphere, to the visuals, to the fast-paced and varied gameplay, you can tell Soda Crisis was made with passion, and I expect that same passion to be reflected by the game’s player base.
Our Soda Crisis review was written based on the PC version of the full game that was given to us for review. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!