Not A Hero Review

Roll7's Not A Hero is the most violent political campaign you've ever seen, in full pixelated retro glory.

Not A Hero on PC

Among the surge of retro-style games pouring out from the indie world these days, few seem to capture attention quite like a classic 2D run-and-gun. Not A Hero fits squarely into this category, packing modern missions, weapons, and more into a low-resolution adventure. Bringing back (fond) memories of my time reviewing Broforce, Not A Hero brings high-octane action with a fresh twist and served with a heaping helping of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Bunnylord, in his quest for political power, will stop at nothing to gain the approval of the masses.
Bunnylord, in his quest for political power, will stop at nothing to gain the approval of the masses.

Not A Hero is, at the basest level, a game about a single man’s rise to political fame and power. The mysterious Bunnylord hires a slew of dubious characters to help clean up the streets, take down rivals, and plaster propaganda all throughout the city in a quest to rule over it all. As the player, you’ll take the role of these hired hands, shooting and smashing your way through scores of enemies, rescuing hostages, and even blasting drug lord stashes to win the hearts and votes of citizens for your bizarre benefactor.

Not A Hero Bunnylord Execution
Bunnylord isn’t afraid to get his own hands dirty from time to time, either, savagely beating a rival in this gruesome scene.

For all its old-school glory, Not A Hero includes plenty of modern innovations. An intuitive cover system to help keep yourself alive, a plethora of destructive weapons to unleash, and a robust cast of hirelings to do Bunnylord’s bidding all showcase the era that the game is truly living within, while the graphics and sound remain firmly rooted in the nostalgic trappings of the 1980’s and 90’s. With a huge number of enemies to face down and challenging side missions within each level, the task at hand is not a simple one. While it only takes a bit of luck to slam your way through most levels, achieving full victory will toss in hidden item searches, timed objectives, and even limits to the number of bullets fired if you want the best result.

Not A Hero Characters
Each of Bunnylord’s hired hands brings their own unique set of skills and talents, changing up gameplay.

Where Not A Hero shines is in the simplicity of its controls and play while still presenting a ton of variety. From Steve’s enhanced slide-tackle ability to Cletus’ potent shotgun or Kimmy’s lethal katana dash, each playable non-hero brings a unique flavor and finding one suited both to your play style and the task at hand can be tough. Throw in reload times, the cover system, and one-shot execution kills for downed foes, and you’ve got a great mix. Stack on special weapons that include impact-detonated grenades, high-powered machine turrets, and even the subtle (if disturbing) cat bomb, and you’ve got a wild variety to approaches and tactics at your disposal.

Not A Hero Multi-Direction Shot
Certain characters display a distinct advantage in some areas, but remember – some side missions require finesse over sheer force.

Not A Hero is a game that rarely slows down, offers a ton of variety to both primary and secondary missions, and is seeping with beautiful nostalgia. While it’s sometimes wearisome trying to get through a single mission that keeps getting you down, when you finally get past that hurdle, there’s always something new waiting. The gamepad support could use some fine-tuning, as I had to re-map my controller each time I played, but once it’s set, things get rolling pretty well. For fans of low-resolution, high-impact action, this is a clear must-have. With a $12.99 price of admission on Steam, I’d recommend holding out if you’re not already a fan of the genre, but if you are, you’ll get your money’s worth — if not more. Sharply witty, unrepentantly violent, and with an array of challenges and unlockables, Not A Hero gets a firm vote of approval.

About the author

Chaz Miller

Chaz was Twinfinite's resident indie game reviewer from December 2013 through until May 2017. An indie reviewer extraordinaire, father-type human for two young gamers, and generally a very busy person.