At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players
Matt Bailey PSP Grip Games Grip Games 1
Requirements Also on...
None. PS3 (minis)

One Epic Game review

I'm not sure whether it was a deliberate irony that a game with a title like "One Epic Game" was released amongst the PlayStation minis range, but the tongue-in-cheek title certainly fits the general tone of Grip Games' downloadable treat.

One Epic Game is a run-and-gun game, in the sense that you do a lot of running and you almost always have a gun. You really do rather a lot of running because your character is perpetually heading to the right so there isn't a choice about what direction to head in, or the pace to take. Instead you use the right shoulder button to jump over obstacles and on to enemies, where precision is important. The left shoulder button is used to fire either your default weapon, or one of the ones you've picked up that are scattered across the levels. In order to survive the non-stop running spree, you'll need to take out enemies - either by jumping on them or shooting them - and avoid the pitfalls that bring instant death.

The dragons like to get in the way of your jumping

The dragons like to get in the way of your jumping

It's a simple formula but there's quite a bit of variety between the stages; sometimes you only have one life, or need to travel a specified distance without killing an enemies. Each level is a different challenge, and you will spend a lot of time dying and restarting before you can complete them. The main reason for this is that the challenges can actually be quite difficult; avoiding all the enemies is hard enough when you also have to time your jumps perfectly to avoid both the foe and the gaps. As dropping into a hole will kill you instantly in every level, making it to the end is not an easy task.

Adding to the challenge is a rather interesting feature; all the levels are randomly generated. It certainly shakes up the flow, and can generally be considered a good thing. Aside from the potential for multiple play-throughs, the process keeps things fresh through the many, many attempts you'll be making on each level. Of course, part of the reason for that is that you can't actually learn how to get past sections in a level when you have no idea what's ahead - you instead have to improve your skills. Another reason for needing to restart is that sometimes the randomly generated levels are seemingly impossible; mainly due to the placement of enemies - particularly of the flying variety - next to key jump points. On the stage where you musn't kill any foes this is a big stumbling block.

He's going to need more than that sword

He's going to need more than that sword

However, the issues rarely get in the way, and while the repeated attempts can be frustrating, it's in that "I'll just give this one more go" sort of way. And "one more go" often turns in 30 or 40, but eventually you'll make it through. While the levels can be fun, it's probably the sense of satisfaction you get when you finally succeed that keeps you going.

The stages all woven together by a story filled with that tongue-in-cheek humour. It pokes fun at video game and action movie cliches, at silly plots and overused concepts, although curiously then fills the levels with these same things. It wasn't looking to rise above it, it's aware of the issues and instead chooses to break the fourth wall in order to tell you to just enjoy it. Ultimately the story is a bit throw-away, but then One Epic Game was never going to be a writing masterpiece.

Yes, the game does have zombies, Nazis, knights and aliens.

Yes, the game does have zombies, Nazis, knights and aliens.

The campaign is reasonably short, unless you get stuck on the stages for a very long time, but, given the £3.49 price, a couple of hours' distraction seems worthwhile. A little more variety in the enemy types and stages would have been welcome, but it does enough to keep you interested. In addition to the main campaign there's some extra challenges, and if One Epic Game hasn't already worn you down with its difficulty, then you can go back and try out the levels again in Free Run mode.

One Epic Game is a PlayStation mini with high production values with some fantastic art work and smooth in-game animation. It's almost as frustrating as it is entertaining, and while the randomly generated levels create some anomalies, you should generally have a lot of fun. Assuming you like running and shooting.


Overall One Epic Game stands out amongst the sea of minis as an original concept with great production values. You'll spend a lot of time restarting the levels, but you always want to come back for more. 8/10

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