Release Date: May 31, 2018
Developer: Italo Games
Platforms: Switch (Reviewed), PC, PS4, Xbox One
While the plot to Milanoir reminds me of bad action movies from the 1970s it feels right at home on the Switch. Gamers are playing as a mid level gangster on a quest to rise in the ranks. How does Milanoir stack up against everything in the crowded Switch’s library?
The game was developed by Milan based Italo Games and has a Hotline Miami look to it. The game plays something like a 90s platformer meets a top down isometric action game. Think Hotline Miami or Streets of Rogue with some 2D platforming and stealth sequences. The Noir style conjures up seedy alleys set in the dark 1920s or possibly a victorian era game with the Industrial Age looming. Milanoir doesn't really fall into the Noir ideals. While the theme is there, I never got the Noir vibe I was hoping to experience. This along with a few other hiccups make the game feel as if it's missing something.
Gamers will be playing as Piero, who is a mid level gangster who is going to kill other gangsters. Sounds like fun right? Well not really, the plot does not advance much and there is almost no substance to the story beyond what I just explained. I thought at the very least I would be taking down gangster bosses in crazy ways, and there would be similar scenes to Scarface. There is some shock value in the game, lots of cursing and a few incidents that left me uncomfortable. There is a warning to potential buyers that this is not a kid friendly game.
Keeping this in mind the game plays like a twin stick shooter with some stealth and car chase elements. The controls don’t feel tight and even with different guns, dogging and taking down enemies don't feel as polished as it should. I died a lot due to struggles with the joycons. I would recommend the pro controller if you got it.
The gameplay is straightforward, go through a level and clear out the enemies. Milanoir likes to throw a lot of enemies at you for no reason. I died a lot due to getting overwhelmed and Piero’s inability to move fast enough.
The music is a nice synth beat that isn't too overwhelming and seems to fit the mood of the game. Graphically it looks this game could be on a 16 bit console back in the day or maybe on the Nintendo DS or Dsi. I feel with some fixes here and there this game could be great. I also feel that the game is a little short but the price is right. If you like top down gangster twin stick shooters give this a try.
Thanks to the publisher for letting us review it
-Neat looking graphics
-Short and dull plot
-Controls need work