Mega Man is an extremely popular platforming series which combines shoot 'em up combat with challenging enemies. The first title launched in 1987 and immediately won over a lot of gamers. Since then, the franchise has received numerous entries, with the latest being Mega Man 10 which came out for Xbox 360 and other platforms in 2010. Mega Man Universe was in development after that, but was cancelled in 2011. It's been eight years since we've seen the blue robotic protagonist in a new adventure.
Mega missteps and corrections
A few months ago, Capcom surprised the gaming community by announcing Mega Man 11. Instead of trying to present Mega Man in a new way, the developer promised that this game would go back to the basics. Initially, Mega Man was all about challenging platforming, tight controls, and overpowered weaponry. Unfortunately, it seemed like Capcom forgot about those principles over the years. Some of the titles in the series have been unplayable to say the least.
I've been playing Mega Man 11 for the past week, and can easily tell you that it's one of the best Mega Man games ever created. The platforming is tight, the levels are varied yet challenging, and new upgrades make you feel like an unstoppable force. It's everything you want in a Mega Man game and much more. Aside from that, it even manages to run at 4K 60 FPS on Xbox One X.
A familiar plot
As expected from a Mega Man game, Mega Man 11's plot is very thin. The opening animation does an adequate job of explaining why Dr. Wily is creating new types of maniacal robots. He's still hell-bent on revenge against Dr. Light who ruined his career with his compassionate approach towards robots. It's your standard save-the-world quest. However, the gameplay is the real star of the show here.
New levels and upgrades
Mega Man 11 features eight levels with bosses you can absorb abilities from. You'll need all of these powers to beat the other four levels which come before the final boss. From my experience, there are twelve levels in the game. Unless there are bonus stages hidden somewhere, Mega Man 11 can be completed in a couple of hours. Luckily, if you choose to crank up the difficulty, it'll require dozens more. Mastering each level is an insurmountable task, especially if you want to reach the final boss.
After you've completed a level, you gather points to upgrade Mega Man. A lot of powerful abilities can be purchased this way. For example, an advanced generator allows you to instantly recharge your blaster so that every press of the button sends forth a massive ball of energy. There's another ability where you can call a robotic bird to save you from falling. This adds another dimension to gameplay and makes you feel truly invincible towards the end.
A little too pricey
Mega Man 11 costs $29.99, which I believe is a little steep for this game. The casual player won't want to suffer through an extremely difficult playthrough. They'll either choose to play it on Easy or Normal. Even then, they'll find the final four levels to be some of the most challenging ever. For the amount of content, Capcom is charging just a little too much. It seems like you're paying another $10 for the Mega Man brand when expansive games like Hollow Knight cost less.
Mega Man 11 final thoughts
Overall, there isn't much to fault in Mega Man 11 aside from its price. The game looks gorgeous and runs like a dream on Xbox One X at 4K 60 FPS. I encountered no performance issues and found the platforming to be precise. The shooting mechanics, ability to switch powers — like Acid or Fire — on the fly, and upgrades make for a truly thrilling experience. There's a lot to love here. I just wish it would cost less.
- Great level variety.
- Accessible to all players.
- Tight controls.
- Only twelve levels.
- Poor story.
- Too expensive.
Mega Man 11 should go on sale for Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 on October 2, 2018. Pricing starts at $29.99.
This review was conducted on an Xbox One X, using a copy purchased by the author and unlocked by the publisher.
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.