Ruiner analysis. Action and rhythm without rest

Written by Kamran Haider

In 2091, the cyber metropolis of Bangkok is beset by hackers and street gangs, while mega corporations seek total dominance. In such a crazy world, only a madman can discover the hidden truth while making his way through all kinds of weapons and abilities that make him a killing machine. Ruiner analysis.

If you see a couple of trailers and images of Ruiner, the first work of the Polish studio Reikon Games, they may deceive you. It has a devilish speed that will require having good reflexes and a good command of the command or the mouse and the keyboard, but it does not intend to take us through an amalgam of classic levels with no more claim than killing the boss at the end of the phase. In fact, his tutorial wants you to have that classic puppet impression of the video game and then break with the manipulation and add some history and freedom to the set.

Thus, we embody a strange individual with an even more strange mask whose brain has been hacked to enter a corporation and kill his boss. Little will be necessary to play as the errand boy, since a mysterious hacker will save us and explain how they have played with our brains, in addition to kidnapping our brother to make sure that we fulfill our mission. Nothing from the other world in terms of narrative, but Ruiner tries, relying mainly on a very well achieved cyberpunk setting , whose soft melodies in the city and steam pipes plunge us perfectly into a city where implants and machine worship prevails through the streets, while more cane songs accompany us on each new level, with an intense and forceful soundtrack.

Thanks to this subtle mix of action-centric levels and some pauses, Ruiner seems like a good heir of games like Shadowgrounds or Alien Swarm, but without staying in the simple tribute. At all times he tries to contribute his own personality in a style that marries very easily with that of his own editor: Digital Return. Playable, you don’t even need to resort to the most explicit violence to impact; interesting mechanics already do it that mix firearms wisely to turn it into a dual shooter manual and short-range weapons as a last resort. The amount of enemies that will come to pass us turns the fighting into a dance where the most important thing is to move at all times, keep the enemies at a distance while we glare at them and use our resources at close range when things get ugly, since melee struggles are not as effective as firearms and our life is quite limited.

Hello Darkness

Ruiner is not easy. Its medium level of difficulty already puts us in a challenge where we will die a few times, while the Hard mode is recommended by the developers themselves to sweat blood. The interesting thing about its dynamics is that, although it is a challenge to clean some areas and live to tell, its punishment usually leaves us very close to where we have died (usually in the last batch of enemies we have annihilated). We will continue to have to pass that barrier and for this, the important thing is to make a better management of the weapons to be collected and the skills that we have at our disposal. The best? That everything flows fast. Not only the rhythm of the game It is vertiginous, but restart after death is a matter of microseconds, a necessary element so that freneticism does not decline at any time.

Note the differences in control. For the PC version, you can play with both keyboard and mouse and with the command, the traditional method on consoles. The difference is quite substantial, since although with keyboard and mouse we have been more effective at shooting enemies, it costs more to use all powers and, above all, to switch between melee and fire attack, since there are to raise or lower the mouse wheel. In command, the proximity of the buttons makes the use of powers and the change between instantaneous attacks more organic, pressing RB or R1 for the melee and RT or R2 for the ranged attack; However, precision suffers.Hello Darkness

Everything flows fast, frenetism does not decay at any time

progression system has also been included for skills, which help us deal better with each situation we will face. Thus, we can get a shield to stop and even bounce bullets; a grenade to harm those who approach us; slow downtime; a quick dash to dodge; improvements for our health and energy … Among many others. All of them, with ample options for improvement, but perhaps the most successful is the possibility of reallocating your karma points (experience) when you level up, allowing you to change your skills depending on the challenge you have at that time. Sometimes it will be better to move quickly with the dodges when you face Kamikaze enemies that want to explore with you, while others it is more useful to improve the shield to reject the rain of bullets.

As we said, after a level completed and his final boss defeated, we can relax in the city of Bangkok. A small but open environment where to meet the fauna that inhabits this cyberpunk future to each one more eccentric than the previous one. This little exploration has its reward because it will allow us to delve deeper into the story, but also meet characters that reward us when we go on a mission. They are not side missions per se, but by ending certain enemies or finding the information they will reward us with karma to improve our protagonist.

Ruiner is not a long game, but it has an adequate duration. He knows when to stop and when to incorporate a new element to shake the hornet a little. Even so, there are times when some players may feel some fatigue when we have already seen all the surprises it has to offer, and that is where its playability suffers, beyond the final bosses that always offer a challenge to the height. It’s setting, in addition, is very successful and the use of saturated color and each of the effects manages to give life to an atmosphere as dark as the chosen one. It is also accompanied by vignettes to show characters with a lot of personalities.

The Reikon team has created enough variety of options and challenges.

However, Ruiner seeks to develop a classic, almost arcade, double stick shooter experience where we do not stop moving at any time. The twist is given by abandoning the classic structure “level after level” providing some dynamism when touring the city of Bangkok and enhancing skills as we want. There is perhaps a certain tendency to choose a beneficial way of playing and not taking full advantage of all the options that the game offers us, but there is no doubt that the Reikon team has created enough variety of options and challenges for even the most daring I can get to sweat on more than one occasion.

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Ruiner is a fast isometric shooter. Hectic. With a good handful of playable possibilities that offer variety in action, although it can be somewhat repetitive on some occasions. The exploration of its city, Rengkok and its cyberpunk history of hackers and street gangs helps to bring more variety to the whole.

  • Fast and frantic with guns and at close range
  • The possibility of reallocating our points to other skills
  • Be able to tour the city of Rengkok between mission and mission
  • The powerful soundtrack that sets every corner of the city great
  • Although it is varied, it may fall back on some occasions
  • The control could be more refined

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Kamran Haider

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