The campero is a typical Malaga sandwich, but also what is commonly called those who wait crouching in multiplayer shooters to finish off their adversaries in the most sneaky way possible. Generally, those who use this technique of dubious ethics and reputation do so equipped with a sniper rifle, a classic weapon that is given special importance in specific moments in some video games, such as that unforgettable Prypiat mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or the confrontation with Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid. There have also been titles published in which we put ourselves in the shoes of this type of specialist in cold-blooded murder from long distances, such as the Silent Scope saga (whose arcade version allowed us to put ourselves in the sights of a rifle) or Hitman : Sniper Assassin.
A type of proposal like that is what awaits us with the next published game Devolver Digital; Although as you can imagine, if it comes from the editor who turns everything it touches into gold, the perspective we are going to find is quite atypical. Children of the Sun is the new title that has been announced under their label, and will arrive at the end of the year if everything goes as planned. We have already been able to try a preview version that has helped us get a better idea of how this original proposal works, which only equips us with a sniper rifle and a bullet to clear scenarios full of enemies. How to do something like that? That is the idea that has crossed the mind of René Rother, main developer of an adventure in which the Spanish studio Brainwash Gang has also done its part.
The premise of Children of the Sun is direct and easy to understand, and that’s why it works. We take the role of a sniper who, basically, has to attack everything he breathes. The first thing he has to do is find the ideal position to carry out the task; The protagonist only moves laterally, so, depending on the level design, we can surround the place or just move a few meters to the left or right as we see fit. A mechanic that is reminiscent, both in content and in the character’s particular walking style, of Killer 7, a cult game by Capcom, a guided and simplified process that may seem strange if we take into account that we take the role of a sniper, where position is key. The funny thing is that here everything is different and the starting point ends up being practically indifferent, and its greatest value comes from recognizing the terrain and determining the location of our objectives. Why doesn’t something so logical matter? The reason is simple: we only have one bullet. The trick is the efficiency of the lead we shoot, since we can move this bullet from one target to another until we finish off, without the possibility of failure, all the enemies that inhabit the stage.
That’s where the well-resolved and elaborate level designs come into play that, with macabre finesse, urge us to meet the objective. Sponsored by the histrionic visual style that it displays, the enemies are highlighted with a striking yellow color that makes them easier to locate. From there, it’s time to think about how to make a chain so that the bullet can be directed from one to the other without failing, and without colliding with other elements of the scenario that frustrate the attempt. A bloody puzzle that starts out simple and, as we complete missions, becomes more complicated, forcing us to spend minutes scanning the terrain to determine the steps to follow. Enemies that walk or that hide in the most difficult to detect corners make us complain while forcing us to sit up in the chair to find the key to how to solve the puzzle. Literally, because Children of the Sun uses a scoring system that evaluates our performance, obtaining more points if we hit the head or in movement than if we hit the chest. Upon successfully completing the mission, a ranking table appears that marks how we have done compared to other players, and that values, as we say, the aim, the time or the path traveled, factors with which we intend to bet on the success factor. replayability when trying to beat our records or reach the top of the table.
One of the greatest successes of the game, at least in this provisional version that we have played, is that it very well borders the line between demanding and accommodating. It is not easy to complete its phases the first time, but, at the same time, it gives us an unapologetic help in subsequent attempts, for example by marking the location of the enemies that we have already killed previously. This makes the previous hunt much easier to determine the location of the remaining enemies and helps us make a mental path of what the ideal route should be to be successful. It is also allowed to maneuver with the scenario, taking advantage of its resources; If we see a bird, we can shoot it to, thanks to its aerial location, have a better perspective of the area. If what we see is a car, shooting its tank is always a temptation. A little later, the ability to spin the bullet is also unlocked, allowing for parabolas that would be impossible if the laws of physics were followed. Everything is perfectly measured so as not to frustrate, encouraging with different options to achieve your purpose. A purpose, by the way, that unfolds from phase to phase through abstract sequences drawn by hand by René Rother himself to take us on a journey that, for the moment, leaves us with more questions than answers in narrative terms.