Sporting a very BioShock vibe, the logo for Tower 57 seeks to evoke that same kind of dystopian utopia feeling, that retro-futuristic look at how our lives could have been if the fantasies of the early 1900s had played out. It’s a style they call dieselpunk, set in an awful future where the 1% utilize what remains of the world’s resources while the bottom 99% have to fend for themselves. Humanity lives in towers now, and Tower 57 is under attack. It’s time to rise to the top and save it.
I chose three characters and the developer hopped in next to me, selecting three of his own. Though only one character per player can be active at any time, you can switch back and forth between them at will. Currently the game only supports two player co-op, mostly because of the intense chaos on screen being difficult to add any more players to. Each character has a variety of fun weapons to dispatch foes, such as Abe Lincoln and his flamethrower, which caused quite a bit of hell as I lit everything on fire. Tower 57 is tough though, and I lost two of my three characters pretty quickly.
The game takes an isometric pixelated aesthetic and adds a ton of details, which can get a little hectic. It looks great visually, but I lost track of my character on more than one occasion, so I can see why the co-op is limited to two people, but I really hope they work on better identifying the player characters so that you can keep track during the insane amounts of destruction and carnage that is happening on screen. When one of my characters died, the next character would swap in and the game would continue. If one players loses all three characters though, the game ends, regardless of if the co-op player has any characters left.
Partway through the mission I lost my legs to a horrific attack, but the character did not die. I dragged myself like a member of the non-walking dead to a nearby station that allowed my to buy some cyborg legs, enhancing some of my stats. You can also do this with your other limbs throughout the game too. After quite a bit of fighting, I was able to unleash my chaos ability, which is a bizarre and over-the-top super move that will help to eliminate everything on the screen.
Tower 57 isn’t looking to be the next big AAA game or even something that provides completely unique endless play. The levels are not randomized or procedural, so the replayability comes from learning the levels, the characters and perfecting runs. Tower 57 just wants to be a fun and crazy shooter for players, providing chaos and mayhem and crazy characters like Abe Lincoln with cyborg legs, and what’s a bullet hell shoot-em-up without a cyborg Abraham Lincoln?
Tower 57 releases summer 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out all of our E3 2017 coverage.