In a world full of corruption, crime, and other amazingly terrible things a mayoral election may be the difference between a safer tomorrow and the apocalypse. Not a Hero is the story of a crazed anthropomorphic rabbit named BUNNYLORD, who is running for mayor in order to save the world from a global catastrophe that only he is aware of. In order to win the race, he must recruit psychopaths, mercenaries, and interns, who are also known as BUNNYLORD’s Fun Club in order to cleanse the city of crime.
Not a Hero is a 2D run and gun side scroller which the main objective of the game is to get to the end of the level through shooting and sliding. There are a 3 optional side objectives, such as saving pandas, collecting ghetto blasters, and gaining kill streaks. When these objectives are achieved, BUNNYLORD’s approval rating increases, which in turn unlocks new characters who possess their own unique play-style. Along with approval ratings, each level has an overall rating ranging from mayor to ruler of the world, which these ratings help determine the ending of the game. There is a true ending to Not a Hero, but that will require completing most, if not all side objectives.
Levels are broken down into 3 chapters, each containing a crime boss, this is when BUNNYLORD will intervene and fight them himself. The design for each level works well with the sliding mechanics and cover system. It always felt satisfying to slide into another building and break out a window just to watch enemies cower in fear.
Each section of the game looks and feels different, from the ghettos of the first area to the oriental themed Yakuza levels, the enemies and environments just add to the depth of the game and uniquely impacted how I handled different situations throughout my experience.
Players can even the odds with a variety of powerups that can shoot through cover, fire grenades, and fast reload. These powerups can be found in predetermined parts of the stage or by random drops from enemies. These drops become rare towards the end of the game and I found myself using ammo sparingly, but this adds to the tension and quick strategy of the overall game.
While this game is fantastic, there were a couple of minor problems throughout the experience. There were points where I would get stuck between two enemies that would come out of nowhere and punched my character around for an infinite amount of time without dying, which I came across this problem many times and there is no way to remedy this, except to restart the level. Another recurring problem that came during in the latter half of the experience was after killing a wave of enemies I would have to walk to the end of a hallway and wait for the doors to open, this was not a glitch, but an intentional design choice that became incredibly frustrating, not only for pacing, but also, when side objectives would be time based. This unnecessary mechanic just takes away valuable seconds and kills immersion.
Not a Hero is a great game with a couple of flaws, but that’s overlooked due to the fact that the gameplay is diverse in nature, it possesses an amazing soundtrack, and gorgeous pixel style graphics. While the overall story just spans over 21 short levels, the side objectives adds length and challenge. Not a Hero has one of the widest variety of playable characters that all add to the experience with their different mechanics and personalities. Level design is varied along with powerups which create moments for fast paced strategy and combat. The character of BUNNYLORD alone is a great reason to continue playing, and a fantastic representation of politicians no matter which country you are from.
Score: 8/10 – Great!
Not A Hero was reviewed on PlayStation 4 with review code from Roll7