The launch of Amazon's Fire TV console was certainly a big surprise, but I'm probably more surprised that the company's first exclusive game looks solid. Sev Zero, from Amazon Game Studios, is a third-person tower defense type game that looks like it takes heavy, heavy influence from Sanctum. Good news is Sanctum is an awesome series. Bad news is to play Sev Zero requires both the new $99 Amazon Fire TV console and a $40 controller too. Good news is the game comes with the controller!
Here's a brief introduction to the story in Sev Zero, which I seriously doubt plays a major role in the events of the game:
"Earth is threatened by an alien species, the Ne'ahtu. Early in the twenty second century, the Ne'ahtu infected Earth's energy grid with a computer virus that disabled the planet's defenses. Before the Ne'ahtu could strike, computer prodigy Amy Ramanujan neutralized the alien computer virus and saved the planet. Now, the Ne'ahtu are back and Dr. Ramanujan is trying to prevent another all-out invasion of Earth. Switching between towers (to launch missiles and mortars) and face-to-face combat (to attack with machine guns), the player's mission is to join Dr. Ramanujan and defend Earth from the Ne'ahtu."
I think I figured it out. Sev Zero looks a ton like Mass Effect 3's multiplayer and I loved Mass Effect 3's multiplayer. That close, over-the-shoulder camera with shotguns and lasers and giant alien monsters rushing towards you. Gah, that's actually a really solid idea, to mix Sanctum and Mass Effect 3's style. It almost looks like Shepard or Garrus is the one inside that space armor.
Unfortunately Sev Zero doesn't actually have multiplayer, err, kind of. It allows a friend to connect via mobile device and drop lasers down by tapping the mini-map. Considering the Amazon Fire TV supports like 7 controllers this seems like a big omissions. Both Sanctum and Mass Effect 3's multiplayer are terrible without friends.
Sev Zero is now available on the Amazon app store for $6.99, but anyone who purchases a controller (which the game requires) gets it for free. They could have priced it at $50 and it wouldn't matter. Perhaps the best reminder to close out on, however, is that this is a small Android game. This isn't a robust indie game like Sanctum. There's only 15 levels and the graphics should speak for themselves. A solid launch title for an Android console, but hardly a system seller from the looks of it.