Bug-ageddon? It sounds like the stuff of loony street preachers, but yes, as this game’s gaudy B-movie title implies the world is under attack from bugs.
Not just ordinary bugs, either – big metal ones from outer space supported by huge bipedal robots and fleets of laser-spitting gunships. And rather than cowering indoors clutching a can of ant killer as most of us would do in such circumstances, Insect Armageddon makes it your job to exterminate the swarms of giant ants, spiders, wasps and ticks.
You head from checkpoint to checkpoint dealing death to invading creepy crawlies. It’s far from subtle: when giant insects swarm over buildings you blast them until the building collapses; when ships attack you shoot them down; when giant robots join the fray you pound them with rockets until they crumble into flames. In short, kill ‘em all.
There are weapons and armour upgrades, a steady supply of arthropodic horrors and four soldier types, but Insect Armageddon’s singular focus is on near ceaseless carnage.
And what glorious carnage it is. Its simplistic pleasures evoke the heyday of the arcade – a time when games offered instant gratification without a trace of a pretension, irony or artistic ambition.
Its primal action delivers the same kind of high-octane buzz as a Motörhead album. A buzz only amplified by its multiplayer options, which range from two-player spilt screen to six-person stands against successive swarms of alien invertebrates.
It’s not a looker, admittedly. Some effects wouldn’t look out of place on a PlayStation 2 and the buildings fall apart like decks of cards. But in midst of battle, it’s easy to forgive especially with the lower-than-usual price tag. Insect Armageddon won’t hold you rapt for hours straight, but there’s plenty of incentive for regular forays into insect hell.