Review – RUINER
RUINER is a fast-paced, twitch response twin-stick shooter that has just released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
It’s the first title from indie developer Reikon Games. The developer was founded by ex-members of Techland and CD Projekt Red. It’s got some pedigree.
Set in the scarily close year of 2091, in the fictional city of Rengkok in South East Asia, RUINER takes no prisoners and sets its pace early on.
You’re a man who is seemingly more machine than man.
Augmentation in 2091 clearly has its advantages, but like everything digital, it also leaves you susceptible to hackers.
The game starts with your mind being hacked and you are given one directive, get through HEAVEN and kill BOSS.
Hack ‘n /
RUINER is a very story focused game; I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers. It’s fun as hell to play and the story is pretty delicious. Chock full of beats hinting at deceit, trust, brainwashing and corporate conglomerate dictatorships, it should satisfy cyberpunk fans.
The bulk of the game is focused on running through missions and quest lines. Each of these starts from various locations within a sort of hub world. They’re like a hub-suburb or ‘hubburb’ and are interesting to explore.
Talking to NPCs within the ‘hubburb’ can unlock interesting titbits of information, lore and even side-quests. These can either be self-contained within the ‘hubburb’ or be completed by revisiting or visiting the other locations within RUINER and the city of Rengkok.
Battle Angel Akira in the Shell Genesis Evangelion
RUINE has a very neo-Tokyo meets the slums aesthetic. Visually fantastic, RUINER’s alleyways and streets are filled with trash, paupers, gang members and adult entertainment. Playing through, you’ll be accosted by flashy neon signs fairly regularly.
Futuristic machines and facilities create a clear feeling of a city with a seedy underbelly. If you’ve ever played any of the Shadowrun games, RUINER’s world, look and ‘hubburb’ give off very similar vibes.
Large explosions, particle effects and a well thought out colour scheme means that most of the time you have a clear sense of what is happening on the screen. During some of the boss fights, it did get a little hard to follow. It’s very subjective though and I could just be getting a little older.
Harder, better, faster, stronger
The soundtrack for the game is excellent. The selection of tracks fades in and out of each other very smoothly and appropriately amp up and wind down. The music sets the mood really well and the sound effects during the scenes never felt out of place or weird.
When I first fired up RUINER, I ran through the tutorial, the first mission and the first boss playing mouse and keyboard.
Even with sensitivities maxed, it was almost impossible to control. The fights and the actual gameplay in RUINER are fast-paced and I found that the mouse and keyboard combo was just disorientating and slow.
So much so that even switching the game down to easy and spending a solid hour trying, I could not defeat the first boss. I started fresh with my PS4 controller, with the difficulty set to normal and had a much smoother and easier time.
Swapping over to an Xbox 360 controller felt even better, with the PC version of RUINER’s default button layout pairing up more intuitively with the latter. My main gripe with the controls of the game is the customisation options available or lack thereof. Thankfully Steam’s BIG picture mode has some amazing customisation and button mapping options within it, and overall it wasn’t that big of an issue. I personally, always like being able to change control layouts of any game to suit me.
RUINER contains a progression system; KARMA is earned from killing enemies and completing main or side missions. KARMA in Rengkok works twofold; it’s a symbol of your status within society and also represents your wealth. Not too dissimilar from our own currencies.
Mechanically, it’s easiest to describe its purpose as money and XP. As you earn KARMA, more of the city unlocks, more missions become available and you earn ability points to spend on the rather large skill list. I had the idea that I’d be spending my ability points once on a character build that worked for me and that would be it. That was the wrong idea on all accounts.
I was regularly swapping my abilities out for one another. Reikon Games cleverly designed the game so that certain parts of missions, whether it be by level or enemy design that require particular skills to progress or at least have an easy time playing. You’re equipped with a basic machine pistol and melee weapon. All other weapons are limited use items of varying rarity, type, damage and durability often dropped by the enemies themselves. The can also be found in crates or delivered to you via dropship.
RUINER is well worth the money spent and the time played. It’s a solid game with an interesting story and mechanics and not too many negatives. Reikon Games has done an excellent job on his title. I’d definitely recommend picking it, but I’d also offer the advice of using a controller.
RUINER was reviewed on PC using a promotional code provided to PowerUp! by the publisher
Game title: RUINER
Game description: RUINER is a brutal action shooter set in the year 2091 in the cyber metropolis Rengkok.
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