Tomorrow, September 7th, the demo for Mega Man 11 will be available on the North American Playstation Store. The Blue Bomber is back in full effect with a host of new tricks up his sleeve. While we dont have many details on the story itself other than the fact that clearly, Dr. Wily is back to his old tricks, we can discuss what new gameplay innovations Mega Man 11 offers as well as that shimmering new art style and most importantly, how the game feels.
I have been playing Mega Man games for nearly the entirety of the 30 years since his inception. When I got wind of Mega Man 11, I loved the evolved art style but I feared it wouldn’t feel like Mega Man. If you shared with me in these fears, rest assured, this game is EXACTLY what you’ve been waiting for. Immediately I noticed it felt incredibly responsive. The game does a great job of quickly showing you how the gear system works to aid you in slowing down time and unleashing more powerful double shots. Initially I feared that the slow down mechanic was a cheap tactic to allow you to “cheat” the system but it really isn’t. It is there to add depth to the platforming more than anything. The demo starts you out possessing two of the bosses special weapons and both felt great and you could see their benefit tactically as one weapon passes a jolt of electricity across the floor and above you and the other causes a dash effect to propel you into the enemy. These weapons also have the charged up enhancement when using the weapon upgrade gear feature. The addition of having Rush mapped to the face buttons is incredibly convenient and the music is on par with the greatest of Mega Man’s tunes over the years.
The enemy design is fantastic. You will see some familiar enemies as well as some fresh faces. My favorite of these is the featured in the screenshot above. As the enemy rolls toward you, you have a very small window to dispatch of the bot. Also worth mentioning is the incredible labyrinth of stone you have to blast away and slide through while being pursued by a large rotating blade. The end level boss fight is exactly what you would expect of a 2018 Mega Man game. A multi-tiered battle with the boss transforming midway through the bout.
For me the most important item I wanted to address in this article and one that I hope breathes some sense into die-hard Mega Man fans is this: it’s OK for this game to have multiple difficulty settings. I tried out the casual setting and here were my takeaways. You have unlimited lives. The enemy drops are far more generous. The enemies take less shots to defeat. When jumping into a hole, a small bird picks Mega Man up by the collar and returns you to safety. The reason I bring this up is because I have seen some backlash about there being different difficulty settings but trust that the standard default difficulty will give die hard Bomber fans what they want from the series. More importantly, we haven’t seen a new Mega Man game in years and this game has to sell if we ever hope to see a Mega Man X9. So I am in full support to make the game more accessible to a younger generation so that new Mega Man fans are created and not instantly driven away by its difficulty. Remember its an option and if it isn’t for you, that’s OK.
If there is one thing for certain, it’s that October 2nd cannot come fast enough. After scaring Battlefield V out of the release month of October in fear of a complete sales blackout (only kidding), Mega Man 11 is ready for primetime. Both fresh and new, yet familiar, it is everything us Blue Bomber fans want.