Me and a handful of friends picked up Arcadegeddon about a week ago and so far we've been having a blast. Naturally, we've been discussing things we like and don't like about the game, things we'd like to see, and other opinions, so I figured I would put everything together in a list here for your consideration! I'm not really one to use forums, but I like this game enough that I feel it deserves my honest feedback. I've done my best to organize my thoughts into appropriate categories, but they may still be sort of all over the place.
- The gameplay loop is fantastically fun. Exploring beautiful environments, looting chests, smashing crates, shooting things with weapons that feel good to shoot, and occasionally taking down a boss, all while jamming to an incredible soundtrack. The experience as a whole feels awesome.
- The game gives players an impressive amount of movement. Running, sliding, and rolling feels great, and the built-in double jump works so well it's almost second nature. It would be interesting if players could also wall-run, wall-jump or roll/dash while in midair, giving even more options for mobility. A ledge-grab would be another good addition, as a lot of times I'll fall just short of making a jump. I also appreciate that you're able to shoot while sliding, and reload while running. I almost wonder if you should be able to shoot while running as well, with some obvious exceptions for certain weapons.
- For the most part, challenges are great. I've really enjoyed doing them, more so for the completion than the rewards, though the cosmetics are a nice bonus. While I know more gangs and challenges are planned, I do worry that because "progression" is tied into challenges, playing will quickly run out of meaningful challenges to do. At the time of writing this, I only have a couple optional missions left to complete, granted I have been playing a LOT the past week. Obviously daily challenges are a plus, but it would be cool to have other additional challenges from gangs. Maybe a set of challenges that get increasingly harder for better rewards, repeatable challenges from a set list, or some kind of weekly event featuring one gang with new challenges. The more challenges, the better. Additionally, I would consider tweaking or removing the condition that challenges must be completed in one run. For the most part, challenges are easily doable in one run, but there's a couple that are painfully grindy or difficult for more casual gamers. Maybe for particularly challenging missions, players could complete one of two objectives: the first would function like challenges do currently, where the second would be a slightly longer challenge that could be completed over time. For example, a challenge involving the use of Surge abilities might read "Use Fireball on enemies 100 times in one run, or Use Fireball on enemies 200 times." This would give players the option to complete the challenge in a single-run, or to progress naturally through a mission over time.
- I was debating putting this one on here, but the Demon boss is a little obnoxious to fight, particularly in multiplayer. My friends and I have gotten better about dealing with him, but we always groan when a boss fight leads to Demon. He soaks up so much damage that fighting him becomes a chore, and because ammo drops are so sparse, we often drop a weapon to make room for the infinite Light Gun. I don't really think he's a difficult boss-- in fact, I think the bosses in Arcadegeddon could do with a little buffing, particularly CEO and Mech-- he just isn't a particularly engaging boss. Maybe have ammo drop from spawned Data Demons to make weapons more effective? I'm not sure, but presently, he's our least favorite boss.
WEAPONS AND ABILITIES
- Overall, weapons are great. Most of them are incredibly fun to use. In particular, I LOVE swinging the Slugger: it has great animations and game feel. I think there's a couple weapons that need some love though. The Ex Machina and Frosty Fraggins come to mind as weapons I never bother grabbing.
- The ability to swap held weapon positions would be a great QoL feature. Some players like having certain weapons or weapon types in specific slots, and the ability to quickly reorganize your loadout to your liking would be appreciated. Similarly, I'd like the option to briefly display weapon names when swapping to them. The name could appear above the first weapon in a player's loadout for just a second. This feature would help new players learn the weapon names (which are all awesome, by the way, just sound kind of "samey" at first), and remind players which weapons they're actually using during a run.
- It would be awesome if we could get some kind of upgrade machine in the mid-stage shops to increase the rarity tier of held weapons (upgrade uncommon to rare, for instance). After finding weapons I'm comfortable using, I'm unlikely to part with them, so an option to use coins to make my preferred weapons better would be fantastic. It might also be interesting if you could enchant weapons here. Maybe give them elemental properties, or enchant them with the properties of other weapons. For example, upgrading the Scotsman with the electric property, or enchanting it with the Grunt's ability to fire rapidly. Something like that would give players a little more control over their arsenal, and give them more tools to make each run feel unique.
- Hacks could be much more interesting. Currently they serve as small buffs that do little to change up gameplay or "power-up" your character. They sound good on paper, but I hardly ever notice them in practice. What if instead, Hacks offered new or improved upon abilities you already have in an interesting way? For instance, maybe there are movement-based Hacks that give new movement abilities (maybe a wall-run, wall-jump, or air-dash like I mentioned earlier?), or alter movement abilities you already have, turning your dash into a blink or smoke bomb. Hacks could also be more thematically fitting, incorporating elements of ACTUAL hacking like noclip, wall hacks, aimbot, flight, etc. The more powerful ones could be tuned with a cooldown or charge or something like that, but imagine how fun these things would be to use! These upgrades would drastically change how a run is played and give a serious sense of "powering-up" to the player.
- More Plugins. A lot of the ones currently in game are underwhelming. Maybe tie in new abilities to Plugins as yet another way to change up gameplay?
- The rotating customizations shop is fine. It's better than a lot of games since it refreshes multiple times a day, but it is still a little irritating having to wait and hope for customizations you want. It would be nice if players could instantly refresh a shop once or twice a day. Or maybe introduce a new challenge reward that allows players to refresh the shop or purchase a specific item of their choice? Call them Swag Vouchers or something, haha.
- More body types/physiques for players? It would be great to be able to customize your character with sliders or settings, but it would also be cool to have more varying presets to choose from. How am I supposed to cosplay as Ziff without that belly?
- Would it be possible to divide Accessories into separate categories for head and face items? It's a little annoying that wearing a hat prevents me from wearing a visor, and vice versa. Obviously some customizations wouldn't work with others or might take up both slots, but this would overall give a little more freedom in choosing what to wear.
- On the topic of Accessories, could we get some beards/facial hair? Gilly and Ziff ought to share!
- More emotes! I'm sure more are coming, but they're easily the rarest customization to purchase. I assume they show up less often because there's simply less of them than there are weapon skins and character cosmetics. Either way, I really enjoy the ones currently in the game and hope to see more options soon.
TECHNICAL STUFF AND SETTINGS
- An option to reconnect to a multiplayer run is essential. My friends and I have experienced multiple crashes and internet issues during runs with no way to jump back into the game once things are sorted out. Clearly the game isn't supposed to be crashing, but these things happen and they're out of our control. The ability to jump back into an in-progress run that you were removed from would make these moments far less frustrating. Rejoining players could respawn at mid-stage shops or at the beginning of a new stage, much like how the game already respawns players who die.
- Keybinding could be better. Ideally, players should be able to bind both controller and key inputs by action, and bind multiple inputs to the same action. It would also be nice if we could bind multiple actions to the same key, without forcing rebinds for conflicting keys. Additionally, the option to change keybindings for every action would be great, including weapon hotkeys, which can't currently be configured.
- I think enemy spawn logic needs some work. I recognize that you're not meant to fight every enemy that spawns, and that they're intended to spawn semi-endlessly (until an objective is completed or you progress to another area), but it sometimes feels that the game is spawning too many too fast. It's more noticeable when playing by yourself, but new waves of enemies sometimes appear before you've even made a dent in the previous wave. At higher difficulties, when elites spawn more frequently, this usually results in you having to flee rather than fight, which isn't ideal when all I want to do is shoot things. To me, this doesn't make the game feel any harder, just more tedious because I have to play slower, should I choose to take a fight at all. Risk of Rain 2 is another game where increasing difficulty mostly results in more, tougher enemies spawning, but it gets a pass because as enemies get stronger, so do players. I don't feel that in Arcadegeddon, since Hacks don't do much to "power-up" the player, as they're just small, passive effects. Weapons get better as difficulty rises, but with the number of strong enemies spawning at high difficulty, the weapons don't FEEL all that powerful. I guess at the end of the day the counterargument to this point would be "git gud", but I still believe that the spawn logic is a little unbalanced and weird at the moment. As a side point, I think it's strange that enemies can spawn extremely close to players, sometimes spawning inside of or behind them. I can think of several moments where I'll defeat an enemy and immediately another will spawn RIGHT next to me, so I have basically no time to assess my surroundings and react.
- A jukebox display for songs? The music in Arcadegeddon is FANTASTIC, so it would be awesome to see the name and artist for each track.
- Small one, but sliding through crates should auto-collect the contents inside. It feels really weird having to backtrack for a moment because I was moving a little too fast to collect everything. Either that, or slightly increase the range at which pick-ups are collected.
- This is less a suggestion and more of a rhetorical question, but I do wonder what updates we'll be seeing post-launch. More challenges, new goals, maybe seasonal events?
That's all for now! Sorry for the long list! I've been thoroughly enjoying the game so far and I'm incredibly excited to see it improve and hopefully thrive upon release. Barring a couple rough edges, it's put together amazingly for an Early Access title. Obviously I'm not sure what's planned, but I hope this feedback is even just a little helpful and makes Arcadegeddon even better!