CONSOLE owners are often frustrated by pundits, columnists and campaigners who bash the games industry.

There are those who dismiss its entertainment value, artistic merit and importance at the frontier of new technology as well as the expertise that goes into popular titles, the culture surrounding it and its part in the modern jobs market with the industry worth more than £4billion to the UK alone.

But if there was a game that symbolises the sometimes ill informed views of the industry’s opponents it could be – in a tongue-in-cheek way – Crunching Koalas’ aptly named Butcher.

The Polish studio’s fast-paced 2D shooter is a love letter to the 8-bit era of gaming but it is also brutal, gory and gratuitous.

You play the ‘baddy’ in a sort of Terminator scenario – as a cyborg programmed to eradicate the last remains of humanity.

Unashamedly ultra-violent, you use the likes of shotguns, machine guns, flame-throwers and chainsaws to kill off any resistance.

Butcher gets away with being so gory thanks to its heavily pixellated graphics which stop it appearing so, well, graphic.

It won’t help any arguments in favour of the merits of games but, as long as you keep your kids well away, it is a lot of fun.

Butcher is probably best described as a 2D version of Doom where you are surrounded by enemies and rely on quick reactions and superior firepower to succeed.

You can get through the whole game in about two hours but the fun comes from repeat plays where you try and beat your previous times and see how you fare on harder difficulty levels.

What is also impressive about the game is the sound design.

Sound effects like the boom of the shotgun, the spent ammo dropping to the ground and the eerie bloodcurdling screams of enemies is crystal clear.

Juxtaposed with the deliberately blurred graphics, it somehow just works and will make gamers of a certain age feel very nostalgic – and old.

RATING: 6/10