[Beyond PlayStation] Milanoir Review
Milanoir from indie Italo Games and Good Shepherd Entertainment is a bloody and gritty pixeltastic homage to the Italian crime movies from the 1970s. Learn more in our Milanoir review!
In Milanoir you take control of Piero, a crazy hitman for a local mobster. Piero is sent out on short but deadly missions to take care of any business that is needed. You will be sent on such a mission at the start of your run so that the game can show you the basics of how to do things and what you should avoid doing if you want to stay alive and in one piece. A few shots are all its going to take to kill you, but luckily the game’s checkpoints do a good job of keeping you from losing too much progress.
You move around with the left analog stick and aim with the right one. If you want to be stealthy, you can crouch with the ZL button and roll with the left analog stick – this is great for hiding and for quickly moving out of harm’s way. You can also choke enemies with the ZL button when you’re close to them so that you don’t alert others enemies to your presence. Once things get rough, and a gun is the only language others will listen to, you’ll need to move your crosshair with the right analog stick and shoot with the ZR button. Do keep an eye on your bullet count so that you can reload with the R button as needed. You will also get your hands on some handy items like, say, Molotov cocktails, or a revolver that can one-shot enemies, so make good use of them!
Sometimes enemies will be taking cover, or they might be located around a corner, so you should make good use of street signs to land ricochet kills. This only works for round street signs, because it turns out that triangular ones are even more useful since they will split your shot in two, allowing you to kill two enemies in one go. You can’t use street signs over and over as you run through a stage, so make sure that each shot counts! A well-placed shot at street sign at the right time could be the difference between living another day and ending up as decoration on the pavement.
The action stages are complemented by driving sections during which you’ll be behind the wheel of, say, a motorcycle, a boat, and a train, controlling its movement with the left analog stick as you move your partner’s aim with the right analog stick and shoot with the ZR button. These chase sequences are very tense since a couple of hits can do you in, and you usually have to take care of avoiding the attacks from the main enemy vehicle, from other enemies, as well as avoid the hazards on your path.
Every now and then you’ll end up facing a boss battle that will test your skills. You will need to make good use of any cover options you have as you try to defeat the henchmen that are usually helping a boss, or else you will end up feeling overwhelmed as you try to dodge bullets flying towards you from all directions. Some bosses require a specific strategy, such as hitting a street sign so that the ricochet shot stuns them before you can defeat them, so be sure to pay attention to what is going on and learn from your mistakes!
Milanoir is a fun, and gritty take on the 1970s showcased in Italian crime movies, and the game does a great job at presenting this on Nintendo Switch. The gameplay is solid and entertaining, there’s a nice variety of stages, and the minimalist character design has allowed the team to distill the movie stereotypes down to their essence. Be sure to check it out!
This Milanoir review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Good Shepherd Entertainment.