Not A Hero

Not A Hero Review

Vote for BunnyLord, or else!

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PlayStation 4 on

Not A Hero is also available for Xbox One

ESRB Mature rating

If you desire power then you need to take it by force. This may not be entirely true, but BunnyLord sure thinks it is. So, why not aid him in his quest for world domination and see what happens? Maybe he's a good guy under all of his murderous urges.

Not A Hero screenshot 1
BunnyLord wants wind chimes so I'll get him some even if it kills me!

One method by which politicians win the hearts of voters is by being tough on crime. Therefore, when the deranged BunnyLord decided to run for office, he started to get rid of criminals in the most obvious way; by having his underlings murder as many of them as they can. Honestly, I wasn't expecting Not A Hero to be as brutally ultra-violent as it is. I was thinking it'll be funny (which thankfully it is) yet the added layer of chaos actually makes it all the more enjoyable. BunnyLord is clearly insane but more importantly... what the heck is he? After reading a few of his many hilarious monologues, you probably won't care because you'll be lost in the middle of all the insanity that unfolds. Fittingly portrayed in a colourful pixelated world, it's difficult not to love every moment you spend alongside BunnyLord in his quest to rule the land.

Not A Hero is quite a simple 2D action game at its core. You basically run and dodge through buildings while shooting at everyone you meet. There's no jump button which is interesting but let's be real, when would you ever jump in a gunfight? By tapping the slide button you can take cover behind the nearest appropriate location and trip anyone who stands in your way. Downed enemies can be violently executed so you may want to incorporate that into your strategy. Finally, discovering additional bullet power-ups and special weapons such as landmines, turrets, and grenades will give you an upper-hand. I found the most enjoyable part of the gameplay to be the vast assortment of enemy types and unlockable characters. Each individual has their own traits that can be advantageous or detrimental so experimenting to choose one that suits your style is great fun. Also, being able to spot the different enemy types and knowing how to take them out effectively is very satisfying. In the end, it's cool to see this much variety for both friends and foes.

Not A Hero screenshot 2
Can't a guy pick up some product at Gary's Ganja without ending up in a shootout?

The campaign is broken up into three weeks with each day representing a unique stage. While playing through a stage, you have the option to tackle extra missions such as killing all of the enemies, finding a certain object, or conserving ammo. The more of these missions you accomplish, the more BunnyLord's approval rating goes up which unlocks further playable characters and allows him to be either the Mayor, Priminister, King of England, or Global Megalord by the end of the game. This is an awesome incentive to do the best you can. On top of all this, there are three hidden bonus stages waiting to be found. Doing everything will definitely take quite some time.

Of course, running for office has its downsides. The most noteworthy annoyance is the fact that there are no checkpoints. I welcomed the lack of them with open arms for the first half of the game because it gave it an old-school charm. However, once the difficulty ramped up and the stages started to take much longer to complete, replaying them began to feel like a huge pain in the rabbit hole. When you factor in unfair deaths such as when enemies pop out of nowhere thus forcing you to memorize as much as you can for the next attempt, you're left with one frustrating experience. An aspect that makes this process even more tedious is that the gameplay remains mostly unchanged which results in it becoming repetitive (especially when you have to replay a stage dozens of times). Finally, the gameplay isn't the only area without variety. Each stage looks almost identical to the last. The only significant difference is that each week has a different colour scheme. Buildings remain predictable and generic while your surroundings are uninspired and drab.

Not A Hero screenshot 3
Stanley may be slow on his feet but his gun sure packs a punch

Not A Hero is an enjoyable 2D action game but it may be a bit too one-note for its own good. That being said, if you're looking for a challenging and chaotic old-school shoot-and-cover game then you won't be disappointed.

  • + Fantastic sense of humour that shines in an insane ultra-violent world
  • + Large cast of diverse characters
  • + Optional missions are rewarding to master
  • - Long stages and unfair deaths will make you wish there were checkpoints
  • - Gameplay quickly becomes repetitive
  • - Environments severely lack variety
6.1 out of 10
Gameplay video for Not A Hero 4:55

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