Sine Mora, the love child of Digital Reality and Grasshopper, is a side scrolling shoot-em-up for newcomers and hardcore fans alike
When a relatively unknown developer and publisher teams up with one of the most respected teams in the industry, questions and eyebrows are sure to be raised. In this instance, it’s Hungarian publisher Digital Reality, the guys behind Dead Block and a string of obscure PC titles in the early 2000s, teaming up with Suda 51’s Grasshopper Studios.
The result is a modern reinterpretation of the shmups of old, Sine Mora. Supposedly meaning “Without Delay” in Latin (depending on the strength of Google Translate), Sine Mora is aiming to bring the genre back into the mainstream. On the easiest mode the game plays like Gradius or R-Type—difficult but never overwhelmingly frustrating. However, on the hardest setting the game more resembles the Bullet Hell shooters of today, with just enough space to maneuver your craft without getting insta-killed.
The gameplay relies on a timer, in which you have a fixed amount of time to finish a level, however killing enemies and collecting power-ups extends your time. Unlike older shooters, dying just takes 10 seconds off your score (which can mean instant game over on higher difficulty levels with shorter time limits), so it aims to limit the frustration but still give an incentive to replay levels.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the proverbial hits the fan once you encounter a boss. Bosses are giant behemoths, riddled with weaponry and armor. The Digital Reality devs were showing off a boss that had four separate stages, once you defeated the first stage you and the boss would change positions and begin your attacks anew. To be clear, this is a single graphical model on screen—moving in and out of your plane and keeping the damaged parts just in sight when you’re attacking it from another direction.
Ostensibly, this game is mostly being developed by Digital Reality. The scenario was worked on by Grasshopper though, and the music is all done by Akira Yamanoka of Silent Hill (and now Shadows of the Damned) fame. So maybe it comes as no surprise to be really shaping up as one of the star games of early 2012.
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