It's not easy to stand out in the multi-player shooter genre, with AAA titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield dominating year after year. Minimum, being a multi-player third person shooter, has tough opposition and while it isn't any better than the AAA titles that dominate the headlines, it is a fun alternative.
Minimum has three game modes to entice players: team deathmatch, titan mode, and horde mode. There are a decent handful of maps to play in and weapons to use; although I didn't deviate from the starting weapons. The shooting itself feels nice and responsive, and the weapons are well balanced for the most part, with swords being the only exception. Used properly, swords can be devastatingly over-powered, sometimes killing you with a couple of swings. On the other hand, I killed a lot of players who were trying to run at me from hilarious distances, only to get a premature shotgun shell to the face.
By killing enemies, you collect upgrades for you guns - which reset upon death - and armour, which last through death and can be upgraded at any time in game. The resources you collect also persist after the game has ended, and you can use these upgrades to unlock new weapons and items. By navigating the game's menus, you can see a disappointing amount of missing content, indicating that Minimum wasn't quite ready for a full release. As expected, there is a ranking system, but no option to play ranked matches. It's a significant omission to be sure, and the developers are planning on patching it in later on, but again, I can't help but feel this should have been present on release.
Team deathmatch is standard multiplayer fair. There are two teams, and the team that reaches a certain amount of kills wins. There's nothing particularly innovative here, but it doesn't have to be. Team deathmatch is played in small maps, with five players on each team, making for fast paced, adrenaline-pumping fun throughout.
Anyone who has played any kind of horde mode before will know what to expect from Minimum's version. Four players are tasked with fighting off waves of enemies round after round. Swordsmen, grenadiers and even dinosaurs are among the enemies you'll encounter because let's face it, what's a shooter without dinosaurs? A terrible one, of course. It's good fun, and a suitable alternative for those who would rather be fighting AI co-operatively than other players competitively. However, a few maps are a bit too small, meaning that if you are not in a certain area before the next round begins, you can be easily engulfed as enemies spawn on top of you.
Titan mode is the core of the Minimum experience. It's by far the most interesting of the three game modes, and it's the mode you'll spend most time playing. The objective is to get your team's AI-controlled Titan to the enemies base. Both teams have one titan every round, and when they meet, they'll fight to the death. Players will need to fight each other and the other teams defences to clear a path for the Titan. Players can even chip in to deal some damage on the Titan itself. When both Titans are killed, a new round begins. This particular section has you killing insect-like creatures called creeps. Creeps drop power-ups for your Titan. The more you collect, the more powerful your team's Titan will be when the next round begins. You can also kill the rare golden creep to get extra power-ups. You'll undoubtedly run into some other players too, resulting in small skirmishes in creep spawn areas. This results in a nice dynamic between killing enemy players, creeps and the Titans themselves.
Minimum takes a step away from modern expectations with its minimalistic visuals. It's a refreshingly new take on a genre that always gets bogged down on visuals. It looks sharp, and colours pop thanks to the blank canvas that covers most areas. Everything is composed of blocks, including the players themselves. It's an added plus that enemies, who are always red, are easily distinguishable from team mates.
Minimum, for the price offered, is a decent way of killing a few hours. There isn't much in terms of actual content, and the developer promises to patch this in at a later date, but I can't help but feel the game could have done with a few more months in Early Access. The game mechanics are sound, but weapon balancing has yet to be perfected. For now, I would say the game's title seems somewhat appropriate, as a game which has yet to reach it's maximum potential.