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Independent Game Festival Game Review:

Game: Bane Developer: Iowa State University Rating: 3/5 stars


From the description: "Bane is a top-down 2D shooter. Its primary game mode features deathmatch-style play. Its gameplay is fast and frenetic, while keeping the basic play elements simple and satisying." It is basically that. You run the program and then you start off looking down at your character (with a little help screen for the controls that can be dismissed), and you run around shooting the bots.


The graphics are nothing spectacular; it's basically a 2D tiled-scroller. All the players look the same, and there is only one map. There's not much else to say about the graphics.


You hear gunfire and you hear screams of death. Positional sound, or at least stereo sound, would have made it more immersive so that you could at least, to some degree, figure out the origin of the sound and hunt it down. Especially since there's no radar and thus no way to know where anyone is except to roam around aimlessly.

Interface / Controls:

The interface basically shows your kills/deaths and points, although I've yet to see anyone's points actually increment. As for the controls: they are absolutely abysmal. Instead of the de facto WASD layout (or even arrow keys) used by nearly every other PC game in existence, it shifts them over one key to ESDF. Seriously, what the hell? The numbers 1-5 are to change the weapons–okay, but the lower numbers are not reachable when you're on ESDF, and having it automatically switch to more powerful weapons (like most other shooters give the option) would at least mitigate that, since there's no reason whatsoever why you wouldn't want to use the more powerful weapon you picked up (since there's no reload time or anything like that, which is why you might not want it in other games). But the BEST part of this convoluted control scheme (besides the fact that you can't customize it, unless you hack the .ini files), is that if you happen to revert to WASD (which is very easy to do if you're switching weapons), there's apparently some kind of button whose effect is to disengage the camera, so it no longer follows you. You may as well quit the game at that point since you have no idea where you are and there's no discernible way to change it back. If you hit the escape key, it brings up a dialog box with a "quit" button that is 90% offscreen, meaning you have to drag it back inside the screen to quit. The bottom line is that the controls are beyond awful.


You run around shooting people with a few different weapons. When this ceases to excite you, you hit F10 to quit.

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