REVIEW: ‘Battle Planet – Judgement Day’ – Small Planets, Big Battles (Switch)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Battle Planet - Judgement Day

Battle Planet – Judgement Day is developed and published by THREAKS. When a prison ship crashes on an inhospitable world the prisoner escapes and makes a desperate bid for freedom. With hostile aliens and legions of high tech lawmen blocking the way the escape quickly turns into a frantic fight for survival. Battle Planet – Judgement Day is a twin-stick shooter rogue-lite that tasks the player with battling their way through procedurally generated mini planets. While on each planet the player will be tasked with completing four waves of enemies followed by a boss encounter.  Once the planet is completed the player will get to stop off at a shop to buy improvements to their character and/or weapons. When the player completes their shopping it’s off to the next planet. And the next battle.

When I first began playing Battle Planet – Judgement Day I misread what I was getting myself into. At first glance, this game gives off the impression of a fast-paced run and gun shooter. Trying to stay one step ahead of hordes of enemies feels frantic and fun. But I soon found myself hitting a roadblock. While I was managing to beat the first few levels fairly handily I just could not get past the second boss. No matter how much upgrading I did I could not advance.

While this quandary was frustrating it forced me to evaluate how I was playing the game. This, in turn, forced me to look at what else is nestled within Battle Planet- Judgement Day’s gameplay. And that’s how it all came together. A deeper appreciation of the game’s tactical demands is required for success. Prioritizing the proper targets and utilizing special abilities are key to surviving the enemy onslaughts before you. Leading to victories more fulling than simply blasting away at the enemy.

By default, the player begins each game with a special explosion ability. When not on cooldown the player can trigger it to clear out swarms of smaller enemies honing in on them. With practice though I quickly found myself diving into larger groups to trigger my explosions in a more offensive manner. Further allowing me to dictate the flow of the battle. While at the between planet item shop the player can opt to switch up their special ability. Options like a deployable bubble shield, adrenaline rush, and even a torrent are eventually available to the player. These specials are also just some of the things that are upgradeable in Battle Planet – Judgement Day.

Upgrading your arsenal to fit your play style can make all the difference in the frantic battles ahead of you. These decisions, while important, are not the most exciting, however. Most fall into the category of a larger health pool or more ammo for a gun. A few like faster movement speed and faster cooldowns are a bit more utility, but still nothing inspiring. Even with multiple characters to unlock and upgrade, I felt very little nuance or inspiration in the progression here.

Also uninspiring is Battle Planet – Judgement Day’s level options. With only three different missions, and two of them playing extremely similarly, the variety in the challenges you face will become very familiar, very fast. And with levels procedurally generated you can sometimes find yourself hitting the same mission multiple times in a row. This makes causes long sessions to quickly descend into monotony.

Battle Planet - Judgement Day

While longer play sessions wear out their welcome quickly I do think Battle Planet – Judgement Day makes an excellent time filler game. Lunch breaks, bus commutes, or any other short period is great to boot up this fun diversion. And while it often seems like the target of all games these days is the multi-hour play session having something short and sweet is a great change of pace.

Also, the visuals in Battle Planet- Judgement Day do a great job of conveying the action on screen in a clear manner. What’s more, it accomplishes this task while still maintaining a distinctive look and feel. The many-worlds you trample across is visually varied and eye-catching. Thankfully, however, the designers stopped just short of making them distracting. Which is something you really don’t need during the most frantic moments here.

While the visual presentation is wonderful, the voice work is a letdown. The lines of dialog are very ham-fisted and get old quickly. Luckily no single line is said all that often. Otherwise, this could’ve become a major deterrent to the gameplay. As it stands it is little more than a minor annoyance often drowned out by explosions and gunfire.

So while Battle Planet – Judgement Day struggles with some uninspired leveling, and repetitive level design I think there is a solid amount of depth, and fun, to be found in this package. I’ve certainly seen worse ways to kill some time then bouncing between planetoids as I decimate wave after wave of enemies.

Battle Planet – Judgement Day is available on October 17th, the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Battle Planet - Judgement Day
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

So while Battle Planet – Judgement Day struggles with some uninspired leveling, and repetitive level design I think there is a solid amount of depth, and fun, to be found in this package.