A third person rogue-lite scrapper with oodles of charm, Clone Drone In The Danger Zone is a light-hearted and thoroughly enjoyable game. The Finger Guns Review.
There’s nothing that makes you realise how vast the video game landscape is than finding out about a game that has sold an eye watering number and has more than 15k “Overwhelmingly Positive” reviews on Steam that you’ve never heard of. Here’s Clone Drone In The Danger Zone, a game that launched out of an extensive period of early access in July 2021 and still has an active multiplayer scene, that had totally slipped me by. It’s worth going back to review these games because you might be in the same boat as I was. And this one is certainly worth your time.
It’s the future and robots have somehow gained sentience. They’ve turned on humanity and there’s a war going on among the stars. While the galactic battle between man and machine eventually becomes important here, it’s not really the most pressing matter at hand. In Clone Drone In The Danger Zone, you play as a human that has been captured by the robots. With their mind transferred into of a robot body of their own, they’re thrown into a series of arena battles to amuse the robotic masses. It’s a simple premise that sets up the irreverent and often hilarious theme to the game.
Booting face In The Hazard Space
In the single player campaign, you play as these captured humans who are competing for survival in a gauntlet of fights. Swinging your melee weapons either horizontally down or sweeping vertically, or shooting arrows from your bow, you have to destroy every robot that is put before you during each round. Once you’ve smashed them all to pieces, you can head back down an elevator shaft as the next round is prepared.
At the bottom of this elevator is “Upgrade Bot”. With every successful round you win, you’re allowed to visit this robot and get an upgrade from the available skill tree. These abilities unlock new weapons, improve existing one’s and give you access to “clones” (which work as an extra life). As you progress through each round, the difficulty will rise, mixing an increased number of enemies with ever more deadly ones. There’s a wide variety of arena structures too, with jump pads, spike traps, saw blades and obstacles making each round feel fresh.
While the combat, movement and structure of Clone Drone In The Danger Zone couldn’t be considered “deep”, it’s certainly engaging. Smacking the opposing robots to voxel bits, utilising whatever weapon you’re packing, is never not gratifying. The AI of the hostile robots isn’t very smart, and often you can strafe strike your way to victory, but the variety of robots, and their ever increasing number, means there’s a reasonably challenge here.
There’s a rogue-lite structure to the single player content in Clone Drone In The Danger Zone which directs the narrative. The overriding aim of the single player content is to survive consecutive rounds. I won’t spoil the overarching story because it’s worth experiencing first hand. What I will say is that for every 10 consecutively levels you complete, the narrative will move onto a new chapter which acts as your new starting point. The short but strong narrative that builds up here is outlandish but certainly worth experiencing.
Love Can’t Be Bot
The most entertaining aspect of Clone Drone In The Danger Zone is the comedic tone. Via commentary delivered by a pair of robots, you’ll get a constant irreverent spin on the situation you find yourself in. At the start and end of each round in the arena, you’ll get observational ribs and confused spin on humanity with such dry and robotic delivery that it’s all the more entertaining. This helps elevate the combat and progression system, making it far less repetitious than it would feel without it. Sure, not all of it lands but the vast majority of it does.
The same can be said about the art work and music. The voxel artwork employed here is an excellent pairing for the robotic figures you’ll be playing as and fighting against. While it’s nowhere near as detailed as the voxel figures you’ll find in the likes of Echo Generation or Staxel, they still pack in quite a lot of character. Similarly, the music channels the YouTube era of modern day dubstep and EDM to drive you on with pumping beats and chunky rhythms. It all comes together as quite a cool vibe.
Enter The Danger Zone
Once you’ve cut your teeth in the single player, you can then take on the multiplayer modes of Clone Drone In The Danger Zone. There’s 2 co-op and 2 competitive modes here, all of which are really quite good.
My favourite mode is “Last Bot Standing”. With just a single robot life available to each player, a dozen human players are dropped into an arena together and, as the name suggests, battle until there’s just one bot standing. At the start of each match, you’re given 4 upgrade points to spend in the skill tree. This usually results in a nice blend of loadouts to fight against. It’s frantic and fun, even with the steep learning curve to compete against players that have been playing Clone Drone In The Danger Zone for a while already.
If you’re not in the mood to battle other humans, you can fight alongside them in the co-op modes. Here you can complete in endless rounds, structured in the same way as the single player content or take on specific challenges. The latter are real skill tests that push the group of players into specific scenarios. Some of them task the team to take on 10 waves of enemies using just 1 particular weapon type. Another gives you a random upgrade after each round. One challenge limits you to just kicking, which I found to be very taxing but quite fun.
While I may not have heard about Clone Drone In The Danger Zone until recently, I’m glad I got the chance to spend some time with it. Instantly accessible and with a wicked sense of humour, this is a voxel art game that is worth a look. I’ve come to agree with the thousands of users that have reviewed the game on its various platforms. It’s pretty damned good.
Instantly accessible and with a wicked sense of humour, Clone Drone In The Danger Zone is a fun and frenetic third person brawler that does a whole lot with a relatively simple premise and mechanics.
Clone Drone In The Danger Zone is available now on PC via Steam (review platform), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Developer: Doborog Games
Publisher: Doborog Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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