I had no idea what to expect when the code for Headlander appeared in my inbox. But, I know that I didn’t expect a floating head trying to save mankind. The game is set in a retro-scientific world that is inspired by 70’s science fiction. People of this future have decided to give up their human bodies and place their consciousness in robots. However, a deranged artificial intelligence known as Methuselah has taken over the robots, basically enslaving them to do its bidding. You take control of the last human, but there is a problem. You only have your head.
Game – Headlander
Release Date – July 26, 2016 (PlatStation 4/PC) / November 18, 2016 (Xbox One)
Platform – PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
Developers – Double Fine Productions
Publishers – Adult Swim Games
Price – $19.99
Reviewed By – Weston Terry on the Xbox One
Headlander is a side-scroller that is in the Metroidvania-style genre. As stated earlier, you only have control of a head that is able to fly around in a special helmet. You are able to fly around and steal the enemy robots’ bodies to take control of for certain periods of time. Each robotic body that you take control of will allow you access to different rooms. Even certain weapons will be obtained while switching bodies. So, the game is fairly simple in design, but it is fantastic!
Each level in Headlander is like a mini Metroidvania-style game. Instead of having one giant map like Metroid, you instead will travel to different smaller maps. Personally, I enjoy it. Every level advancement felt like a new world. Plus, each new area gave me something else to explore. The game scratched each itch successfully. So, I was always looking forward to progressing.
Progressing the game also mean that you will be advancing your character’s skills. The skill tree is filled with all sorts of great power-ups to help you continue to survive, explore, and progress. However, there were a few skills that were basically useless. Well, maybe not totally useless, but very situational. It just didn’t make sense to even contemplate taking them. It seemed like the skills were just thrown in fill up space which wasn’t needed.
On the other side of the coin, the plethora of skills pushed me to continue searching for experience points, exploring, and really just playing the game. It was a loop that I enjoyed continuing to do. Now, these style games are usually not my cup of tea. But Headlander sucked me in with the twitch shooting, the exploration, and the great humor. I was laughing my head off the entire time. (dum dum tss…)