14th Apr2020

‘BE-A Walker’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat


Are you a Star Wars fan? Did you, like me, ever want to take control of one of the myriad of vehicles that populate the Star Wars universe? I know I did. As a kid my favourite Star Wars film was Return of the Jedi (I loved the Ewoks, so sue me) and I always wanted to ride a speeder bike… Though I never really thought about piloting an AT-ST. Until now that is.

You see BE-A Walker (an acronym, which stands for “Bipedal Enhanced Assault Walker”) is a side-scrolling walking simulator come shoot ’em-up hybrid game that essentially sees you take control of a mech that looks conspicuously like an AT-ST; walking through the surface of a hostile plant, complete with natives that want to destroy you. And with good reason… You are, if you choose to play the game that way, a BAD GUY!

Dying Earth is overpopulated and humanity searches for new planets to colonize and to extract much needed resources. One such planet is Eldorado, an Earth-like planet covered with huge jungles and mountains full of rare minerals and it is an ideal option for colonization. By force. But it’s not that easy. Two things are making colonization quite complicated: the first one is the atmosphere which is poisonous to the human race, and the second one is the native race of warlike humanoid creatures that is not going to share its home with some sky people and even the walker’s battle armor can’t help against huge spears and other missiles of the hostile tribes!

So that’s the set-up. You’re on an alien planet in a walker under attack from the natives. All complicated enough without the ridiculously complicated nature of just HOW you control the titular walker! It’s one of the clumsiest control system I’ve experienced in quite some time – and honestly feels like a huge step-back in terms of playability. The Switch is home to some great games that use both the joy-con’s and the touch screen to great effect. BE-A Walker doesn’t. In fact I is so game-breaking that I could not enjoy the game in the slightest.


You see to move your walker you have to methodically press ZL, that allows you to precisely move the mech AND stomp on the natives instead of shooting them. However it’s a stupidly laborious thing to do – though it could actually be necessary. Because on top on bad controls, your bullets are limited too, both in number and in the fact your gun overheats! Which means you HAVE to stomp on the natives to conserve bullets. There is an auto-walking mode, where you merely hold the button down but that leaves you wide open to attacks from enemies you just stroll over.

Finishing levels is rewarded with points/credits, which you can “spend” on upgrading your walker – armor, oxygen level, weapons etc. Though even with upgrades playing this game is a slog. There’s just zero fun to be had here – and that’s even if you switch sides and fight FOR the natives (which you can actually do). BE-A Walker is sadly just too clumsy to control and too repetitive to play to be an enjoyable experience.

BE-A Walker is available on the Nintendo eShop now.


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