Jupiter Hell is a turn-based roguelike shooter, very much inspired by the DOOM franchise. You navigate through enemy-infested levels, collecting ammo, new weapons, all while attempting to survive. There are currently four moons to get through, and each moon has seven levels—apart from the final moon, which is shorter but features a brutal final boss. You have three classes to choose from, all extremely different, along with a Fallout trait level-up system.
When I say turn-based, it's really turn-based with a twist. If you don't move or do anything during combat, the game will freeze—nothing will occur. Yet, when you perform an action, (which could be to move, reload, use a medikit, or shoot) as that act is happening, time will progress in real-time until your move has been completed. Then time will freeze once more.
To be clear: combat is not an RPG turn-based system of waiting for one enemy to take a full round of movement, until the next turn reverts back to you. The gameplay is more akin to playing a game of chess, but when you move a piece/act, it turns into real-time until you've executed your next move. The combat system simplifies to this: during your action, your enemies can take action, but only during your actions. It's like fighting Shadow Link in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, except the whole way through.
It's rather jarring to get your head around at first, but eventually, you'll get used to it and start thinking several steps ahead. It's pretty intuitive and unique. But if you so wish, you can attempt to blast through it without waiting and see how well you do. It's a truly amazing hybrid.
This is a game where it hopes you don't mind dying over and over again, because that's exactly what will happen. It takes no prisoners and will hammer you down until you start learning how combat works. Learn that being close to a door will give you cover, and you can lean out to shoot. That manual target is better than automatic targeting in some situations. The combat system is the game's finest mechanic.
|It has plenty of content, from unlocking trials and challenge missions, for those who want more brutality.||Is not for the faint of heart. It is unforgiving, which will put a few people off but will also gain a hefty following.|
|Many levels have alternate secrets levels you can access. Learning how to get to certain levels is part of the charm of survival.||The HUD needs improvement. Due to the one-turn buffs, it's easy to forget what you have and don't have.|
|The level-up trait system is well done. With multiple builds, you can create alongside an array of weapons at your side.||The cover system is mediocre due to the procedurally generated maps.|
|The music is absolutely fantastic. Metal suits this game perfectly.||No analog movement means tapping the d-pad/arrow keys a thousand times per level.|
Verdict - We Recommend
Jupiter Hell is not without faults, but it has been a while since I've come across a game of this brutality. You want to blast your way through it like a traditional isometric shooter, but if you do, you'll get obliterated, yet it's entirely possible. Having a hybrid system, you can play it how you see fit.
It's strange to think that there could be a game like DOOM but in a strategy-turn-based format, but alas, Chaosforge has managed to make Jupiter Hell Rip and Tear with the best.