The narrative of DOGOS centres around the struggle of mankind to fight off an alien aggressor, the Zeetnuks, who are hell bent on our destruction, so it’s the usual fare really. Naturally, the setting isn’t really delved into, but what’s clear is that technology has obviously moved on massively, which is why Desmond Pheonix – the game’s protagonist – is the pilot of a highly manoeuvrable and rather deadly fighter, the KZ 72 (a prototype weapon that combines human and alien technology). The player is eased into the action quite well, with new enemy types and special weapons introduced at a fairly sedate pace, though some mechanics, namely the effects that enemy weapons can have on the ship are never delved into at all, but rather sprung on players, which typically happens at the most inopportune moments. As the story progresses over the game’s fourteen levels, Desmond takes the fight to the Zeetnuk forces that have invaded Earth, moving from hunted to hunter to struggle against overwhelming odds and finally take down the aliens’ most powerful weapon – a device that becomes a regularly occurring boss towards the end of the game.
The KZ 72 may not be upgradeable, but there are some changes that can be made to it during the course of the campaign, the least important of which is the rather frivolous ability to change the paint job between one of six different designs. More importantly, however, DOGOS allows players to change their load-outs, with the game employing a system fairly similar to Galactic Attack and, more recently, Crimzon Clover, by featuring weapons designed to target enemies placed on one of two different planes. Unlike these two examples which both use a lock-on missile system, DOGOS features three different weapons for ground attacks, each with varying degrees of destructive power, rate of fire and so on. Naturally then, each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all seem to struggle to hit the smallest enemies, which can result in frustrating and drawn out fights with some of the game’s weakest foes, this could likely have been easily circumvented with an increased level of splash damage across the board, so it’s hopefully something that OPQAM will continue to tweak after the game’s release.