An entertaining hybrid of shmup and rpg tied together with reasonably diverting fluff and art. The combination of shoot'n'dodge and character builder really emphasizes the complexity and importance of decision-making. I like it. It's a game to play with music pumping and wanting to get pumped up in 10 minutes- if you can make it even one play through. I'd almost say it's an excellent lunchbreak speed-game in the sense of Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. Semi-spoilers ah.. it's obvious that the draw is long-lasting complexity and high-skill ceiling, not tweests, right?
The shooting and movement is very well-executed. Combined with the screen shake, the experience is intense and embracing. The situations you find yourself in vary a great deal, a consequence of weapon variety, enemy attack types, and character's and talents.
Balance, particularly for talents, is beta from my perspective. I've been playing YV and Steroids, who both feature high-dps and emphasis on weapon combos, which could color my opinion. The playstyle varies quite a bit between characters due to a variety of unique characteristics. If I were better at dodging, I might prefer characters that are required to dodge more bullets due to comparatively low dps and talents that do little to shorten or ease a fight or improve my ability to panic spam. Many of those heroes have traits that improve their resources. Anyway, it is beta and balance is indisuptably a work in progress.
A significant example of the design philosophy is the cursed weapons available at this time. If you pick them up, you can only exchange them for other cursed weapons. You get more ammo for those weapons though. This is a principle that pervades the game; even though talents are never generally bad, they are very often situationally useless. What good is a bonus to energy weapon damage or kinetic ammo supply if you don't have those weapons? Optimization in specific utility (for short-term survival or situations that are not sustainable or easily achievable) or for general viability of your build are very important and I'd hazard most players will spent some time at the inter-level level screen, simple as it is.
It was worth it at $12 for me, but if you want it for less, it won't go on sale until after release.