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Parents' Guide to

The Anacrusis

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sci-fi co-op shooter brings a '60s vibe to the genre.

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Most cooperative shooter games tend to be dark, dismal, and have a distinct horror movie vibe. The Anacrusis, on the other hand, takes a completely different approach, dropping the offbeat style, bright colors, and funky attitude of the '60s into a sci-fi backdrop. For the most part, it succeeds in helping the game to stand out. That's a good thing too, because from a gameplay perspective, there's not a lot that feels very original here. In a lot of ways, The Anacrusis feels like a generic boilerplate copy of games like Back 4 Blood or Earthfall, taking their base mechanics and slapping on a bright coat of paint. Each mission takes place over massive maps, but with repetition that leaves players with a sort of "Are we there yet?" feeling when moving through the same set dressing over and over again. There are also some technical issues still to be ironed out. Sometimes, enemies will get stuck in the floor or behind a wall. Some animations are rough too, with characters and enemies sliding along the floor rather than running. These are minor gripes though that could be fixed later on down the road.

While The Anacrusis is pretty formulaic at its core, it does have a few nifty tricks up its sleeve. One of these, borrowed from Back 4 Blood, is the "AI Driver." Like those games, The Anacrusis uses artificial intelligence to mix up certain elements like power-ups while monitoring players' skills and adjusting the difficulty accordingly. It insures that each playthrough is a unique experience. The best feature, though, and one that is a fantastic addition to the genre, is "AFK Mode." If a player need to step away during a match (for a bathroom break, to answer the door, etc.), they can switch on AFK Mode and an AI bot will temporarily take over for them. Once finished, the player simply switches off AFK Mode and jumps right back in the action without ever leaving their teammates high and dry. The Anacrusis might not be the most original or most polished cooperative first-person shooter on the market, but it's just different enough to stand out.

Game Details

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