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Assault Heroes - hands-on

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If you're looking for an engrossing story with compelling characters, then put down your controllers and read a book. Assault Heroes jettisons this unnecessary baggage to make room for action, explosions, and swarms of enemies that will strike a chord with old school arcade rats.

The game plays like Smash TV on steroids. You'll control your jeep's movement with the left analog stick while directing your turret's fire with the right. The controls are quite responsive and we couldn't resist carving a few donut holes on the sandy shores of the first level as the first wave of enemies swarmed down on us.

Graphically, Assault Heroes looks clean and crisp, with lots of bright colors and big explosions to feed your sweet tooth for destruction. The default weapon for your jeep is a mini-gun turret, but there are plenty of weapons to add to your arsenal such as a hot looking flame thrower, grenades and nukes. You'll also encounter situations where you can choose to leave the safety of your jeep to grab especially powerful weapons or items, adding that "just a little bit more" greed factor which makes these sorts of games so addicting.

We were a little disappointed with how weak our jeep's default mini-gun was in the first level of the preview we played. After dying once at the huge robotic spider boss at the end of the level, we lost some of our weapon upgrades and ended up chipping away at his weak points with the mini-gun for quite some time. Although it's to be expected that your default weapon won't be super powerful, the intensity of this otherwise impressive boss fight dwindled as the battle dragged on.

Still, with back to basics gameplay and explosions galore, our brief time with Assault Heroes left our trigger finger itching for more. We didn’t get to sample the co-op mode, but you can look forward to joining the fray with a friend when Assault Heroes hits Xbox 360 Live Arcade this winter.

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