Not A Hero is a crazy, random, exhilarating, tough little game. At least that’s the case based on the 20 or so minutes I had with the title here at PAX East. Before and after I played, I had some time to chat with Roll7 developer Simon Bennett about the game and all the craziness it brings to the table.
Roll7, by the way, are the same folks behind OlliOlli.
In Not A Hero, you play characters that London Mayoral candidate BunnyLord picks up along the campaign trail. BunnyLord aims to win the election by ridding three specific areas of London of their bad guys, and that means sending you, your crazy weaponry and your ability to slide and roll into combat like an action movie star into battle in order to complete objectives that scale from simple to complex.
The core gameplay here is really straightforward, though it can be rather hard once you find yourself in sticky situations filled with enemies and explosives. You move room to room and building to building by diving through windows, stepping through doors and waiting on unlock switches. Once in, you’re normally faced with a small group of enemies.
You tap A without moving to dip into cover. If you press A while running, you’ll do a quick roll and slide before moving into cover. The whole idea here is that the only way you’ll avoid death in this “2 1/4D” battle is by hiding in between enemy fire and getting closer while shooting your own gun.
The closer you are, the bigger your damage. Slide into an enemy and you’ll be able to pull off a quick execution. This is where Not A Hero feels sort of like Hotline Miami. You mount your enemies and kill them quickly in the same manner you would in that other brutal top-down game.
It was after I did that mounted execution a few times that I found myself falling into a rhythm with Not A Hero. Pop into a room, roll into cover, dodge enemy fire, kill him, roll to his buddy, kill him, dive out the window and land into BunnyLord’s waiting van in order to make your escape.
Bennett briefly told me that Not A Hero is also a bit random. First, the conversations and briefing before and after missions have entirely randomly generated segments within them. They have tentpole points that connect them to the mission at hand, but BunnyLord will drop completely odd and off-color commentary that’s unique to every play through.
Even further, there are random collectibles in certain levels. Those are unique as well.
Not A Hero will roll out May 7, election day in London. Of course Roll7 totally did that as a joke. Come on. This game looks crazy, and it’s officially one I’m snapping up on or near launch. Not A Hero will sell on the PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.