At Sundown: Shots in the Dark Switch Review by SwitchWatch
Developer: Mild Beast Games
Publisher: Versus Evil
Release Date: Now
Price as of Article: $17.99, £17.99
Game code provided by Mild Beast Games for review
Sadly, there’s no story here which is a real shame as the concept is really cool, and I would have loved to see a back-story to these characters and the reason they’re fighting.
At sundown is a really interesting multiplayer shooter with a hide and seek twist!
The game is split up into 3 modes: local play for up to 4 players or you can go at it alone; online mode where you can play with others from around the world; and training mode where you can try out new weapons, or those you’ve unlock through the levelling up system and try and earn medals against the clock.
In training mode, there are a number of challenges for you to perform. Each challenge lets you use each weapons’ abilities, the core experience of hiding in shadows, and being visible in the light. Each session has basic and advanced times to beat.
Completing these challenges with a better or par time will reward you with bronze, silver, or gold medals for the quickest times. This is a great mode to try out old or new weapons you’ve unlocked. It adds little incentive to play them again, thanks to the medal system which I like a lot. There are 12 training/challenges to play, with 7 of these being locked from the very beginning.
Local play is where it’s at! This is where you’re going to be spending most of your time with friends, family, and even playing by yourself as bots are also included in the package which I appreciate.
There are 4 characters to pick from: 2 men, 2 woman, and 4 colours. After you’ve chosen your character and colour, you can then press the X button and cycle through the available weaponry that you have unlocked thus far.
Guns all pack a serious punch, so what’s on offer here? Well, we have the trusty shotgun with its spread fire. If thats not for you, how about the revolvers with its dual-wielding action? Ok, maybe try the Auto-rifle with its quick-burst fire, and of course, you couldn’t have a shooter game without the good old-fashioned sniper rifle which can shoot through walls but has a longer reload time.
We even have some melee weapons too, but I don’t want to spoil all the surprises here.
One of the really cool features are the weapons; each one has a standard fire and secondary ability and each one is different enough to warrant experimenting with them all. For example, the auto-rifle has straight burst-fire as its standard ability, while its secondary ability lets you fire a grenade that has an area of effect explosion.
Another example is the revolver, which has ability to dual wield for rapid shots as its standard, but its secondary can launch a flare out which can illuminate an area to expose enemies.
Weapons are diverse, and each is great to play with. You can really find your own set-up and how you like to fight with them.
Hide & Seek!
The concept is brilliant in At Sundown: Shots in the Dark. It’s something I’ve never seen before in a shooter game. In a nutshell, you’re invisible in shadows giving you the ability to simply disappear like a ninja. You’re only visible in light which you’ll soon find out is your worst enemy, making you want to avoid it and remain hidden.
Now, of course, you can’t see your character while you’re hidden in the shadows, but you can press a button to reveal your currently location. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know where you are in a level. For a few times, I lost my character due to this mechanic, only for them to reappear at the bottom of the screen.
You can also run by pressing the trigger button, but this, again, gives away your position by leaving a trail of your chosen colour and you may find yourself at end of a barrel of a gun.
I can’t deny that the game is increasingly fun, though. Hiding in plain sight only to jump out and shoot someone who was silly enough to wander into the light is entertaining.
It’s very satisfying, specially when you’re playing with friends. Playing by yourself can get boring after awhile. Yes, you can play online and unlock lots of stuff, but without any story driving the single player content, I think some solo players will become tired of it.
This is definitely a game that wants you to play with others. You can play in a free-for-all or death-match, as well as other modes that you can unlock as you level-up. You can also team up and there are a lot of options to mess around with which can change how you play the game.
Again, having any sort of online feature is a welcome addition and this game is no exception.
Online seems pretty robust. You can host, join games, and change the options to create the game you wish. Using the quick play option, you can level up and move up through online leaderboards, increasing your rank and ratings.
I’ve only played a few games which were pretty intense. Clearly some players are true ninjas and are good at hiding in the shadows, only to pop out to take a shot.
My internet pretty good, so I had stable connection, however, I did join a few games and found it running poorly, but that could be due to someone else’s connection, perhaps.
I’m really impressed with At Sundown: Shots in the Dark. love the unique gameplay created by the simple game of hide and seek. It’s definitely going to stay in my Switch as it’s been really enjoyable to play in multiplayer – trying rank up enough to unlock all the goodies and playing with my nephews which ended up being pure chaos!
Controls can take a little time to get used to, only because when you are hidden in the shadows, you don’t see what or where your character is and that made some of my encounters both intense and hilarious.
Controls are as follows – move with the left stick and aim 360 degrees with the right stick. Reload with the Y button. When you die, you can select new a weapon with the X button. You can fire with the ZR trigger and run with the ZL trigger. You can dodge projectiles with the L bumper and use secondary fire with the R bumper. And finally, you can reveal your location by pressing the B button. After a few matches, it will all become second nature to you.
Levels are split into themes. You have 3 to start off with, and within each theme there are 3 levels to pick. Ones at the beginning are: Garden, Mansion, and Factory. There are other levels and themes to unlock.
Each level has light and dark areas and the actual set-up was really well done. Our favourite level had to be the mansion. Some maps are pretty big which was great for camping, but the smaller maps made everything a lot more chaotic!
Having 4 players running around and shooting was crazy but a lot fun. There is an announcer who shouts things like, “BUZZ KILL”, “THAT’S GOTTA HURT!” which spurs players on to do enough, earn extra kills, and get revenge on their rivals. You can also earn accolades after a match has been won.
With all the carnage going on, you can expect that there’s nothing else to achieve. However, there’s a rank-up system that will constantly reward you with new goodies, like weapons, new levels, and even new modes to play in each successful level which will let you keep on playing!
There are also 20 achievements to go through and 16 unlocks in the game. That’s 11 weapons to use and 9 themes, each with 3 levels within them, so that’s a lot of bang for your buck!
But what’s it missing?
My only negative is that there is no story mode which is bit of a shame as I think it would have been a great way to explore At Sundown’s light and dark, as well as hide and seek mechanics further.
We can get a glimpse at our four characters and thats about it on the main menu. I wish there had been an extra mode where characters’ back-stories were explained, why the sun has such an effect on their world, and what are their reasons for trying kill each other? We may never know.
Of course, this game is purely focused on the multiplayer side and that’s fine, especially when it’s this good. But I think single player gamers may be bored after a few bouts on this one.
Music changes with each level selected and is pretty decent. It all fits its themes well, but mostly you will be listing to sounds of gun fire and the announcer shouting various of things. Gun sounds are punchy enough and the guy or girl announcer (you can change that in the options) sound decent.
Visuals & Performance
Visuals are dark with spots of light on certain areas of maps. Thankfully, bright team colours stand out in the dark screen, so there wasn’t that much of an issue to see where I was. When I wanted to conserve my battery and didn’t want to turn up the brightness, the game is dark, and, in the light, it can be difficult to see what’s going on. The weapon fire all reflects what colour you picked at the beginning of a match which makes it a little easier to distinguish who you are in a fire fight, which I appreciate but it’s not perfect.
I did experience a few drops in frame-rate during local-play and online. There’s nothing game breaking, but it did happen.
A really cool feature is during play, if you’re playing with joy-cons and end up moving against a wall or hit a wall, HD rumble will kick in, alerting that hit something – this can be a useful tool to help you move around without hitting the reveal button, which is a pretty cool inclusion.
For £17.99, you’re getting quite a bit of content: multiple levels, weapons, local-play for up to 4 players, bots if wish to play in single player, online play, and a ranking system where you can unlock additional levels, weapons, and modes. Add in achievements and you’re golden!
But single players be aware: apart from bots option in local play and online, there isn’t a lot to bite your teeth into. That is unless you enjoy playing all the training challenges to unlock all the medals.
11 Unique Weapons
Awesome Hide & Seek Mechanics
Chaotic 4 player games
Lots to unlock
No story mode
Drops in frame rate
Boring single player