Onslaught review

  • Wide array of weapons
  • Very solid motion control scheme
  • Functional, though limited, online play
  • Short, straightforward campaign
  • Dull narrative/dialogue/aesthetics
  • "That's why you're still a kid!" looping voice clip

Hudson Soft has been one of the most prolific WiiWare developers to date, with titles ranging from the likes of Tetris Party to, uh, My Aquarium, but its latest entry tackles uncharted ground for the downloadable games service – the first-person shooter. The game in question is Onslaught, and while its generic alien bug-zapping plot and ho-hum presentation fail to make an impression, enjoyably mindless action and online gameplay lend this sci-fi shooter some short-term relevancy.

Onslaught's attempts at narrative (cyborg insects emerge from a downed research ship!) and emotional dialogue between anonymous, look-a-like armored soldiers are best ignored, as the game’s strengths lie solely in the appeal of blasting hordes of goo-splattering creatures. Whether it's packs of sluggish caterpillars or flying bugs that explode when shot, you'll find plenty of fodder with which to decorate the walls of the bland caverns and valleys you'll traverse.

Luckily, the game offers numerous ways to get the job done, with a customizable arsenal including standard firearms (shotgun, machine guns), a rocket launcher, grenades, and even an electric whip for close-up assaults. Some levels even let you command a machine gun-mounted car! Smart controls keep the action flowing pretty smoothly, with fine motion aiming/shooting and analog movement, with the various weapons mapped within reach of the d-pad and Nunchuk buttons. And while it's a hindrance in the midst of a frantic firefight, having to wipe toxic alien innards from your visor by shaking the Nunchuk is a nice touch.

The single-player campaign is split into 13 straightforward missions, all of which fall into expected territory: eliminate all the bugs, defend the base, beat the boss, etc. While the arcade-leaning action (complete with a combo/scoring system and timed missions) packs a challenge, the whole campaign can be knocked out in two hours or less.

Online play via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection helps to some extent, offering four-player co-op play through the story missions, as well as score-based competition. Finding opponents and getting into a match is a relatively painless affair, but the lack of a true deathmatch mode (or anything else) seems like a missed opportunity. Then again, finding any action game with Wi-Fi support on Wii these days remains a task, let alone a $10 WiiWare title.

As long as you're not expecting thrills or surprises, Onslaught's by-the-numbers bug blasting serves as a fair placeholder until something bigger and better (The Conduit, perhaps?) comes along. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but for shooter-starved WiiWare fans in this case, something may be better than nothing.

Feb 27, 2009

More Info

Release date: Feb 23 2009 - Wii (US)
Feb 13 2009 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Hudson Entertainment
Developed by: Hudson Soft
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Animated Blood, Violence


  • brickman409 - September 19, 2009 3:13 a.m.

    and somewhat sadly i did buy this
  • RonnyLive19881 - March 3, 2009 11:25 p.m.

    FINALLY! The Halo killer I've been looking for!!!
  • zymn - February 28, 2009 2:52 p.m.

    is anyone actually PLAYING it online, tho? thats what i wanna kno...
  • climbing wolf - February 28, 2009 1:17 a.m.

    Crap. Thank you anywayz.
  • riodoku79 - February 28, 2009 1:08 a.m.

    hmmmm...I'm thinking "That's why you're still a kid" could become the new "All your base are belong to us". And to climbing wolf no it does not have local co-op. Wish it did though.
  • Ryuinfinity - March 17, 2009 12:42 p.m.

    "FINALLY! The Halo killer I've been looking for!!!" Ya, right. It got a six. I am a Wii freak, and are driven crazy by Xbots, but even I have to admit this is NOT a Halo killer.
  • ReaperOfDarkness - March 4, 2009 10 a.m.

    I think this game should have gotten a higher score like a seven. OF course it isnt Half life like quality but its also a fifth the price when games like that came out. IT doesn exactly what its supposed to do offer arcade like fun on the wii. This is what wiiware should be does it have flaws? yes it does but compare it to the loads of crap out on wii ware and it shines in comparison. Fact is ten bucks is a steal for this game plenty of fun while it lasts and moderate replayability makes it more then worth the price.
  • brickman409 - March 1, 2009 4:17 a.m.

    i was thinking about getting this
  • climbing wolf - February 28, 2009 12:55 a.m.

    Hm. First. I still have 1000 points, why not spend it on this? Just wondering, does it have local co-op too?

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