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RUINER Review

RUINER FEATURE

RUINER is a self confessed brutal top down action shooter, the debut title from Reikon games, and yet another quality entry in the Devolver Digital catalogue.

Brutal doesn’t really cut it though, a sadistically punishing mind f#%k is probably much closer to the correct feel from this, although that probably wouldn’t ship as well. For those of you familiar with and fans of GURPS Cyberpunk, Akira, or Blade Runner, RUINER’s aesthetic will feel spot on. The darkness highlighted by neon, the grunge mixed with synthetic. It’s intoxicating. From the minute you launch this game it exudes a style that is both exhilarating and discomforting. I have to talk about this first, because I don’t think I’ve played something that felt as cyberpunk as RUINER does. I haven’t previously fund a game that seemed to embody the grotesque beauty of the dystopian ultra-tech future. Shadow Run get’s close, but it just doesn’t quite get there.

I mentioned sadistically punishing as well didn’t I? Your protagonists visor regularly flashes ‘Hello Darkness’ and it’s extremely appropriate. I screamed at my monitor more than I’d care to admit while attempting to get through enough of this game to review it properly. The exhilaration I felt when I finally succeeded on my 20th, 30th, 40th attempt at the first serious boss. It beats the pants off of the accomplishment I felt from Rise & Shine, which until now was the ‘hardest’ game I’d reviewed.

Game-play. Think Path Of Exile, with twin-stick aiming. Based in the future, but faster, more brutal, and with guns. You hack terminals, gates, and brains. You massacre everything standing in your way with guns, blades, flames, explosives and even shields. You are in turn, massacred when you’re speed and precision isn’t on point. I played on PC, and it apparently supports controllers although I couldn’t get any of mine to work, and I have a few. Keyboard and mouse felt good though, and all required action keys were auto-mapped logically. The ‘wheel’ selection for swapping out activated skills is used, It works as well as any I’ve seen and gets the job done, but I’ve never been a fan.

Conversations are held with NPC’s via gaudy pop-up views of them with limited text. It’s stylised well, and fits the overall game feel, but I couldn’t help but get pulled out of the zone every time it filled my screen. Character design though, is on point. Eclectic, psychotic, deranged, every character fits.

RUINER WILL, QUITE HONESTLY, RUIN YOU!

To be honest, RUINER is 100% aesthetic. The game-play, difficulty, isometric camera angle, lighting, sound, it’s all built to drag you in and down to its level. Then it’ll beat you into enjoyment. If you want to experience a techno frenzied dystopian future this is it, as long as you can take the punishment the rewards feel oddly great. Sitting around $20US on Steam, GOG, XBone, & PS4, it’s a steal of a game.
RUINER hacks its way in with a modest 3.5/5 virtual hair masks.

3.5 Beards

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