Nucleus is a game that will test you in more ways than one, and if you’re willing to persevere then you may just discover an experience that’s highly rewarding.

By fishdalf, Posted 16 Jul 2009

Few would argue that Geometry Wars contributed considerably to the initial success of Xbox LIVE, with its dual-stick controls, sharp-shooting and frenetic pace. Then arrived the PlayStation 3 and Sony obviously saw the opportunity to capitalise in a similar manner, this came in the form of a downloadable game by the name of Nucleus – an 80’s style-shooter that sees you fighting your way through the human body on a mission to rid it of  a deadly virus. The game however doesn’t follow the conventional methods that Geometry Wars did, instead it ditches both pace and simplicity in favour of a unique and extremely challenging experience that will test the skills and the patience of even the most hardened of gamers.

You take control of what can only be described as a sperm-like jellyfish that has three core abilities. You can fire plasma shots, use a tractor beam and boost or ‘squirt’ - as the game calls - it around the screen. Each power providing a different way of playing the game and its here were its true value lays. You don’t have to simply sit there shooting hoards upon hoards of enemies for hours on end; I mean you can do that if you really want to, but you can also use your tractor beam to push and pull cells around the screen to form defensive barriers which will protect you from harm.

Cells are essentially green blobs that float randomly around the screen, these can be dragged together to form walls or alternatively shot to release protein. Shoot enough of them and you’ll earn yourself a protein bomb; this is the most powerful weapon at your disposal and if used right can be the difference between passing and failing one of the 40 plus levels the game has to offer.

Nucleus Review

Nucleus does a sublime job at creating high levels of uneasiness, which makes it a rather awkward game to play at times. Mix this with the fact that freaky little bacteria swim at you from all angles and what you get is a true sense that you’re being overwhelmed. That of course is the case the majority of the time, letting your concentration slip for even a second usually results in swarms of descending upon you.

As the game is so tough they’ve thrown in a co-op mode to help you along the way, here you and your friend can adopt strategies to help you to victory. Unfortunately the game lacks any real online mode but when you consider just how cheap this game is to purchase you soon get over it.

The game whilst additive isn’t exactly a feast on the eyes, the visuals are uninspiring and very inconsistent, with each world made up of dull, drab tones. The sound isn’t much better, while the trippy electro soundtrack is bearable for half an hour or so it soon becomes one long monotonous drone.

Nucleus is a game that will test you in more ways than one, and if you’re willing to persevere then you may just discover an experience that’s highly rewarding.

Craig Bryan, NoobFeed

comments powered by Disqus
  • I haven't tried the game yet but I think it's similar to Super Stardust.

    Posted Jul 16, 2009
  • Marco made a good mention :) And I haven't played this game too.

    Posted Jul 17, 2009
  • I compared it to Blast Factor in the review simply because they were released around the same time, but truth be told Blast Factor is closer to Super Stardust, and Nucleus is a little different to both.

    Posted Jul 17, 2009

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