"History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men."
Terror of Hemasaurus is satisfying. Specifically, “This game is really satisfying,” as stated by my son when we were about 15 minutes into our first session with it. If you ever felt the same about the arcade classic Rampage, you’ll want to check this out.
Well, depending upon your political views. Anti-vaxers and climate change deniers can continue to look the other way.
The story behind Terror of Hemosaurus is akin to that of 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and countless disaster movies before it. The Earth is dying, and humans don’t care because they can’t accept anything that doesn’t smack them in the face. Here, that smack comes via daikaju thawed free from the polar ice cap and recovered by a sacrifice-happy religious cult that trains them to destroy life on Earth to save it.
So, the monsters set out on their rampage, destroying buildings and vehicles, and killing humans. The deaths are goofily gory this time, with plenty of pixelated blood flowing in the streets. You can eat people, burn them, and even kick them into helicopter blades. And there are so many. Although Rampage confined you to one city block at a time, Terror of Hemasaurus scrolls across an entire location. This allows the destruction to build wonderfully. What fun is simply collapsing a building when you can actually topple it onto another one?
There are so many fun ways to bring about mankind’s destruction that you’ll still be discovering them a couple of hours in.
And, as mentioned, Terror of Hemasaurus takes a definite side on why mankind deserves this. During the early game, newscasters are totally cool with the proceedings because a.) the violence and destruction are great for ratings, b.) only the poor have been killed so far, and c.) only a few hundred people have died while the flu has killed millions. Sound familiar? Death is ultimately good for the economy! Even the religious cult that trains the monsters is way too cool with killing people off—including their own members—to achieve their goals.
But what does any of this matter to the monsters (and, therefore, the players)? What’s important is the gameplay, and it’s very fun. Amid the chaotic destruction are combat elements you’d expect. Climb buildings to break them up and punch the people in the windows. Ground pound from the rooftops to cause heavy destruction. Grab the citizens to throw them. Eat them to replenish your health.
Terror of Hemasaurus charges you with some tasks, as well. You typically need to cause a certain amount of destruction and kill a certain amount of people to advance, but things occasionally get more specific. For example, you can’t complete one level until you’ve killed 10 people by throwing or kicking them into helicopter blades. That’s harder than you’d think for a kaiju, but totally redefines the concept of teamwork.
Despite these direct commands, the game grows repetitive quite quickly. Terror of Hemasaurus is short, but it’s still possible to lose interest if you’re not playing with a friend or three. Up to four players can reign co-op destruction on a single Switch system, choosing between Hemasaurus (basically Godzilla), Autonomous Hemasaurus (Mechagodzilla), Salamandrah (let’s say Gorosaurus), and Clocksloth (uniquely Clocksloth). Each of these monsters comes with its own special charged attack. The more players you have, the more chaotic the destruction, and the more fun the game will be.
Even with all the pixelated blood and the real-world implications addressed by the story, Terror Hemasaurus never feels any more violent than an 8-bit pillow fight. That’s in line with the arcade games that inspired it, but it may actually be counterproductive considering its theme. Is the end of our planet supposed to be this entertaining? I would say no, but only because it’s not likely to be expedited by giant monsters eating the rich (our newscasters were a bit short-sighted, it would seem).
I’ll fight to prevent that real-world ending now, but the moment Hemasaurus or its equivalent shows up, I’ll be the guy willing to get eaten to restore the monster’s health…provided his next target is that “Guns Guns Guns” store in New York City.
Review: Terror of Hemasaurus (Nintendo Switch)
Terror of Hemasaurus is a fantastic time, a wild homage to Rampage that tops its predecessor in nearly every way. It’s definitely meant to be played in multiplayer couch co-op. And maybe it’ll help you understand that if our planet can’t be destroyed by daikaiju, then maybe we just shouldn’t destroy it at all.