Matterfall revealed itself to me in stages, and each reveal was a little surprise. Housemarque’s sci-fi shooter throws a lot of different concepts at the wall and, for me, at least with the short window I had with the game, each of them stuck.
In the build I was given to play during the show, the game fired controls and instructions at me at a machine gun pace. Where this could hinder another title, Matterfall kind of made this feel like it was par for the course. The game is energetic and fast paced from the jump and so having control screens popping up one after the other encourages you to start putting things together. Movement both lateral and vertical is really surprisingly fluid, controlled with the left stick and dashes on your shoulder buttons. The thing is, right when you think you’ve got a handle on this crazy space platformer you’re playing, it reveals itself to be a completely different genre — a twin-stick shooter.
This threw me for a loop initially and I grappled with the controls for a moment before this new paradigm began to make sense as well. There’s a Metroidian feel the proceedings once the twin-stick element comes barging in and before long I was tearing down hallways performing skill shots and hyper precise jumps and dashes. It’s great fun and makes you feel like a bad ass in record time.
Matterfall releases on PlayStation 4 on August 15. We’re looking forward to playing a lot more of it in the future.
The author is reporting from E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Accommodation in Los Angeles provided by Hotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles. For rates and booking, click here.