Matterfall is like a bullet hell Mega Man

E3 hands-on with Housemarque’s new PS4 shooter

Housemarque (Super Stardust, Resogun) is continuing its trend of throwing as many colorful projectiles as possible at players with a new shooter, Matterfall. The 2D action platformer pits you as a Crysis-cosplayer in a futuristic robo-scifi world under siege by all kinds of mechanical monstrosities.

I got to go hands on with the game at E3 and, after a bit of learning curve, was enjoying how frenetic things got. You run left, right, jump and double jump your way through the environment per genre standards, but also have a dash (which also goes upward for a triple jump). The dash doubles as a way to phase through blue objects in the game, including platforms you activate with your gun. On the other hand, ruby red matter will mess up. Outland connections abound.

Shooting is mapped to the right stick and you can — and will have to — shoot in all directions while keeping on the move, because Matterfall throws a lot of bullets your way. You can also dash through enemies to temporarily freeze them. Aside from the standard gun, you unlock new weapons, like a meaty grenade launch and some wild homing bullets, all of which should prove invaluable given how busy things got just in the early levels.

In a boss fight against a giant wasp-looking thing called the “Autonomous Hunter-Killer” whole sheets of projectiles were wiping across the screen at a given time, while zero gravity segments have your character free-floating around obstacles, shooting all the while. Matterfall is the kind of game Housemarque is good at making and should be worth a look when it comes to PS4 on August 15.  

Steven Hansen