Double Kick Heroes is a dream come true for metalheads, and those who adore rhythm games. As someone who grew up on Amplitude and Rock Band, Double Kick Heroes instantly hooked me with addicting gameplay and an infectious soundtrack. In its early access state, there’s so much to love about the game.
From the main menu, you can choose “Arcade Mode” which allows players to attempt songs to climb the leaderboards. There’s also a story mode that follows five band members (Derek, Randie, Lincoln, James, and Snake) as they try to survive the zombie apocalypse while meeting a motley crew of characters, each with their own set of problems that are heroes attempt to resolve.
Both modes are engaging, and the story is hilarious and continuously entertaining, Since the game is currently in early access, the narrative isn’t complete yet. What is there at the moment is engaging, and I can’t wait to see where our protagonists go next. Luckily, there’s another mode after finishing the 15 available levels, arcade mode. Arcade Mode is where I spent a good chunk of my time with Double Kick Heroes. It’s a way to master your craft and work your way through the five difficulties.
Since I’m a rhythm genre veteran, I jumped into the Metal difficulty (hard mode) and played through most of the songs with no problem. The final level gave my fingers a workout, and I often had to stop playing from fatigue. Eventually, enough was enough, and I lowered the difficulty only to find the game to be too easy. Double Kick Heroes offers a nice twist on the genre. It goes from an average Guitar Hero type game to one that requires strategy to complete. Zombies, zealots, sharks, and other creatures try and to kill your band.
Fortunately, you have an arsenal to fire back. Through the power of music and firepower, retaliating against the forces of the undead has never been so fun. Playing on a controller, you use the A and B buttons to shoot enemies. “A” shoots bullets on the bottom part of the screen while “B” fires them on the top of the screen. On the “Metal” difficulty, a snare is added, which enables players to lob grenades at the horde. When red prompts appear on screen, pressing the “X” button will fill that gauge. Higher difficulties add a third row that uses the “Y” button to power up a sniper rifle.
There is so much going on that all of the prompts felt overwhelming at times, especially on a controller. Double Kick Heroes is the perfect example of “practice makes perfect.” I thought my experience with the genre would prepare me for what developer, Headbang Games unleashed for gamers. Unfortunately, I let my arrogance get the best of me, and the zombies killed my band plenty of times. It’s an addicting experience that I won’t stop playing anytime soon. With the narrative done, my main focus will be getting to the point where I can master the “Extreme” difficulty. There is also guitar support, which I hope to test out in the coming weeks. Additionally, Double Kick Heroes also features an editor mode, which allows players to export their own MP3 files and create levels. It’s a cool feature that I will dabble with once I purchase songs that will fit with the style of the game.
So far, Double Kick Heroes shows a lot of promise. My ten hours with the game have been fun, and I can’t wait to see what else the studio has in store for gamers. Be sure to check out PC Gaming Enthusiast for future coverage on Double Kick Heroes. The zombie apocalypse is a dangerous place, but the power of heavy metal is definitely want we need to survive. Grab your guitar, keyboard, or controller, and rock out. You’ll have a blast.