Top Critic Average
If you're the sort who shies away from bullet hell twin-stick shooters, or finds the permadeath of roguelikes to be too punishing, I think Nuclear Throne might be the game to try. It might well ease you into those troubling waters. I tend toward those instincts too, but this is so immediately accessible, so ridiculously replayable, and so satisfying to get better at, that it transcends. And if those sorts of games are your thing and you've not already delved in during development, then flipping crikey, get this immediately. And blimey, I'm tired.
It runs flawlessly in both handheld and docked modes, the pixel art looks great with interesting character and enemy design, offers co-op play, and the amount of variation between each run keeps it fresh as you slam your head against the wall again and again on the way to the throne. The difficulty is absolutely harsh and is sure to turn some off, but feels completely fair, outside of the rare fake chest which can quickly destroy an otherwise promising run. However, no matter how frustrating a death can be, I constantly found myself right back into it without a second thought.
Nuclear Throne is one of the greatest rogue-like games that we have ever played: the gunplay is very satisfying, the characters and their creative abilities are wonderfully wacky, and the entire experience has so much variety that it becomes very addictive. If you are a fan of rogue-likes or simply want an outstanding game to play, then we suggest that you let Vlambeer's latest rule over your PlayStation lands, 'cause it's definitely ruling over ours.
Nuclear Throne manages to walk a fine line between challenging, with options for the player who wants to succeed in the post-apocalypse, and unfairly difficult, filled with obstacles that will induce frustration for even the most hardened fans of the rogue-like genre.
Nuclear Throne might not be a super complex game, but it is a compelling one. Its action is brutal, over-the-top, and rewarding; a hyperactive arcade-style shoot-em-up with enough dynamism to keep me captivated moment to moment, but a strong sense of strategy to give me something to invest in over longer playthroughs. Whether you want to sink your time methodically making it to that elusive throne or play in quick, punchy bursts, Nuclear Throne is an excellent choice either way.
Multi-layered in its sophistication while being drenched in aesthetic bombast and effortlessly entertaining, Nuclear Throne isn't just Vlambeer's finest work to date, it also happens to be the best twin-stick shooter since Helldivers; even in light of its relatively minor transgressions.
Nuclear Throne is an addicting game, especially given its simple, yet challenging design. Each mutant feels unique in their special abilities, and the levels feel like a throwback to classic 8-bit designs. I highly recommend it, especially as those capable of overcoming the main game can look into its co-op options or the daily and weekly challenges Vlambeer throws in for fun.
Nuclear Throne revels in its own madness as a twin-stick shooter that could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with any other in the genre. While the repetitive nature of locales does grate after a while, it's still difficult to not come back for one more game time and time again.
Nuclear Throne is impeccably presented and tightly designed. There is enough variety in characters, upgrades and weapons to ensure that playthroughs never get repetitive and its visceral combat is a joy in itself. Its frustrating unfairness, however, holds it back and may alienate even hardcore roguelike fans. Not the heir to Isaac's throne many had hoped for then, but still the best action roguelike of 2015.
In the end, I have come to love and loathe Nuclear Throne. It's one of the hardest, most rewarding games I've ever played. But as satisfying as it can eventually become, I think it is far too demanding for its own good. With additional polish and balancing, this could be a masterpiece in the genre. It's not quite there yet, but it's close.
If you’re a fan of Enter the Gungeon, roguelikes, or difficult games in general, Nuclear Throne is going to be right up your alley; we’d give this one a high recommendation.