Nation Red is an arcade shooter that adds some variety to the genre thanks to it’s perk system. Shooting mechanics are standard for a top-down shooter. Movement is a little more nuanced, with your speed decreasing when walking backwards, as well as a dodge/roll mechanic that isn’t very unique but adds some maneuverability. Enemies are almost all cannon fodder, with an occasional boss zombie or exploding zombie. There is a fair bit of variety in the weapons department, but you quickly find that there are a select few great weapons, and a lot of okay ones. The perks system involves a wide range of possible upgrades that you get to use to build a unique character each game. In practice, most perks are at least decent, so they can begin to feel pretty similar once you get farther into the game. Playing with friends can overcome some of the monotony, but it still isn’t a game that can be played for hours on end without getting boring.
Visually, it does okay for a top-down shooter, but the graphics still look quite bad. Many of the visual effects feel generic and cheap. The enemy design is a strong point, with every category of enemy getting a unique model. It makes it easy to tell which enemies you are facing during the chaos of battle. The soundtrack isn’t amazing, but still manages to pull its weight. The game’s sound effects are just as generic as the visual effects, yet there is something helpful about the repetitiveness of them. It helps distinguish between different power-ups and enemies, even if it makes the game feel a bit bland.
Nation Red is assuredly a flawed game, but it is still fun in short bursts. For a $2 game, it has some solid value for fans of arcade style top-down shooters.