First Impressions
Shoulders of Giants

Developer: Moving Pieces Interactive

Release Date: 26 January, 2023

Platform: Windows, Xbox One/S/X

Genre: First Person Shooter

By Chris Picone, 28 January 2023

I enjoy First Person Shooters but I'm a little bit fussy. I need my FPS games to either have a solid story to carry the action, or some strategic foundation, or some element of its gameplay needs to be innovative and engaging. With its core gameplay centring around dynamically shifting between your character and your robot, Shoulders of Giants fits the latter.

The concept's simple enough; you launch yourself to a planet where you need to destroy a few beacons before finally destroying a monolith. Each of the beacons are guarded by "entropy," strange creatures that attack you on site - and respawn in waves. Destroying the monolith ends the level after a boss battle. You gain parts and experience for upgrades at the end of each level.

The combat itself is where Shoulders shines. You play as a frog who rides a giant robot into battle. The frog can shoot a small pistol - good for when you need to be precise, or for shooting at flying enemies. The frog also has a tongue ability that lets you eat enemy projectiles, restoring health, and a range of other unlockable abilities. The robot attacks with a huge sword and comes with dashing and teleporting abilities. All abilities come with a cooldown but you can get around this by swapping between the frog and the robot. This leads to some really fun combat situations where you'll shoot at one enemy, teleport out of the way of their attack, bringing you into melee range of some more enemies, facing a barrage of enemy fire, one of which you swallow before dashing out of the way and shooting them back. In addition, there's also a range of other abilities you can pick up during each level; some of these are normal, like a rocket attack. Others are a little strange, like a giant stomping boot that spawns into existence and crushes nearby enemies. It's all good for adding a bit of variety to each level.

The verdict? I enjoyed Shoulders of Giants, although I think a younger generation will enjoy it even more. Also, it comes with a 4 player co-op multiplayer mode which I was never able to test but the game seems really well built for.