Hot Shot Burn Preview – It’s Getting Hawt in Here

Four-player party games have been on the rise as of late, and it’s pretty much all thanks to indie developers that are swooping in to create them. For us competitive gamers out there, whether you’re a “hardcore” one or a “casual” one, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a bit of silly smack-talking, getting that overwhelmingly satisfying adrenaline rush during heated matches, and then achieving a glorious victory.  

Developer Flaming Flamingo and publisher Artifex Mundi hopes to capture all of that with their upcoming arena party shooter Hot Shot Burn. And after going hands-on with the game, I can honestly say that it will as it’ll bring hours upon hours of fun for all players when it releases on PC-via Steam Early Access on August 15, and sometime in 2020 on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. 

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Similar to the likes of Overwatch, Hot Shot Burn doesn’t have one concrete story but instead has multiple characters that each have their own backstory, and greatly differ from one another in various ways. Also, the game’s set in a silly live TV game show that just makes it all the more fun. In this party shooter, up to four players can jump right in, choose an intergalactic gladiator that strikes your fancy, select an arena, and boom — the crazy, bloody free-for-all deathmatch battle begins. The player that reaches a score of 50 points and survives, wins the whole shebang. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is, but Hot Shot Burn surprisingly has simple to learn yet hard to master gameplay systems that could turn the game into an esports sensation. 

One instance is how playing as all the characters requires skill, which is what makes Hot Shot Burn such a blast to play. Every character is just so unique as they have their own abilities and play styles that require players to think of and unleash tactics for each character. For instance, Umad is a strange pufferfish creature who’s gun can bounce off obstacles and has the ability to puff up like a blowfish to deflect bullets, whereas Wizardo (who’s a wizard, of course) can teleport around using a frisbee-like disk but he just has a not-so-special gun. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses that are tied in with their unique ability and gun’s firing rate, and it’s because of this that players will easily find a main that best suits them. With this in mind, I felt like in the build I played, that all characters were balanced pretty well. 

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Knowing how characters play especially will come in handy when it comes to running and gunning in all the hazardous arenas in Hot Shot Burn. Each arena comes with challenges that players need to watch out for, like exploding barrels, conveyor belts, and tall grass that keep players on their toes. Furthermore, power-ups such as Deathtouch (a barrier that surrounds a player and when another touches it, well, that player dies) or Fast Reload (grants the ability to reload faster) can be picked up to turn the tides of battle, as well. With a wide array of characters and stage hazards, players will end up needing to create their own strategies for each stage and opponent they face. 

Matches generally don’t last long, though, as most of the matches I played in lasted about a minute at most. So players that want to win will have to be run and gun carefully but quickly. Getting the points needed to win doesn’t just consist of killing foes, as points are also granted in other ways like killing the player with the most points and even picking up nachos that are scattered across stages. Anyone can win in Hot Shot Burn and that’s what will literally make it fun for everyone. 

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As far as presentation goes, it’s clear that Hot Shot Burn has a Saturday morning cartoon look and feel to it. All elements of the game, from the colorful, wacky characters that are full of character and each have their own silly facial expressions, to the bright stages, make for a fun world to be a part of. 

Players can plan on being in the world of the game for quite some time as the developer plans to add a slew of content, like new characters, stages, and modes, during and after the game’s Early Access stage. Thankfully, the developer also mentioned that there aren’t plans for micro-transactions and loot boxes to be added. 

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Since both casual and competitive players can find something to love in this game, Hot Shot Burn is going to be a fun party shooter that you and your friends aren’t going to want to put down. With fast-paced matches and unique characters, get ready for some flammin’ hot fun in Hot Shot Burn

Chances are that the game will also have its own esports community as well, that is, if it has a dedicated community to back it up. But hey, it does! The game has its own Discord, in which if you join, you can be a part of the beta right now. Not too shabby, eh? 

Hot Shot Burn will launch on PC-via Steam early access on August 15, with PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One versions planned for release sometime in 2020.

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Brad Crespo

Editor-in-Chief - On a quest to play as many new games as possible while trying to finish an endless backlog.