Dual stick shooters, like tower defense games, word puzzles, physics puzzles, match-3 puzzles, and line drawing games are a dime a dozen these days. Plop a Rambo-like guy down onto the screen and let him go around killing anything and everything, and there you have it, a winning dual stick shooter. Well, you had a winning dual stick shooter. After the Minigore craze died down, so did the monotonous genre.
Etolis aims to end the monotony by changing the formula: they're putting the game in a space/Halo-like setting and adding some environmental segments to aid the gameplay. By "environmental segments," I mean walls, something that not many dual stick shooters go for. Instead of the drab square map with arbitrary borders, the "arenas" in Etolis rope you in with walls and holes and such, making the game seem more like a real shooter than a gimmicky dual stick killfest.
Etolis also offers a Gladiator type of story, where you, the brave UFA (United Frontal Alliance) soldier gets captured while saving escaping civilians. Instead of being killed though, you are assigned to fight in the arena for the Queen's entertainment.
With the gladiator arena type setting, it is up to you to kill wave upon wave of enemies with a whole slew of weapons and special abilities to work with. Judging on the action in the preview movie, I'd say that that Etolis could possibly be good enough to revive this slumping genre, but we'll all get to be the judge of that upon launch.
Expect Etolis to launch sometime in mid October to late November.