Death of the Critic

The Backlog - NOT A HERO

Written by: Tom Blaich

I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

Devolver Digital has had a pretty outstanding publishing record, at least in my opinion. They tend to attach themselves to some rather interesting titles, and that was what initially drew me towards
NOT A HERO. And I’m glad that I decided to check it out.


It is a high-octane, completely ridiculous side scrolling shooter. Heavily influenced by games like
Mark of the Ninja, you take control of a set of mercenaries/bodyguards/helpers that are tasked with increasingly ridiculous and violent missions, having you jumping back and forth between skyscrapers as you shoot exploding shotguns at rooms full of marijuana. Even though the plot and premise are ridiculous, that doesn’t prevent the game from being fun, propped up by surprisingly solid gameplay and responsive controls that let you tear through levels like a lethal tsunami.

You see, there is this purple rabbit person from the future named Bunnylord, and in order for him to fulfill his goal of becoming mayor, he hires a group of eclectic gunslingers to fight “crime” for him. Whether that be the aforementioned pot farms, or buildings full of armed goons, or even broadcast stations. There are nine playable characters and each one plays differently.
I liked the speed of Jesus as he dashed around with a submachine gun, but Mike did let me blast baddies with his shotgun. The depth of the game comes from the characters, and figuring out the quickest way to attack each level while completing the extra challenges that they give you.

This action never truly gets old, and I found myself replaying some levels that were particularly crazy just to see if I could go faster, or pull off stupid tricks, diving out of a window and sliding into another several floors below to assault a room full of guards. It doesn’t have the same depth as a game like
Mark of the Ninja and the plot doesn’t really matter, but it truly is a fun and stylish game.


The game practically oozes this style at every juncture. It revels in its ridiculous ways, and the characters fit right in. Watching Jesus hip thrust through a crowd of enemies, pirouetting as he executes someone on the ground, or an anthropomorphic rabbit beating a man to death in a high rise borders on the “lol, so random” internet humor that has become so popular in the last few years, but the game manages to avoid it, and pulls it off way better than it should have, a thumping electronic beat pushing you forward through the utter insanity that you are seeing.

It combines fluid movement with fast paced action to make a game that flows from movement to action and back at a moment’s notice. It’s dumb, it’s fun, and I enjoyed every second.



Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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