Well, after VA-11 HALL-A was a fun experience, I think now’s the time to talk about another cyberpunk game. Only one that is a little more…. Hotline Miami-esque. Coming from the brilliant minds at Devolver and being the first Devolver game I talk about on this list. And that game isn’t Holine. What a shame on my end. Oh well, let’s talk about Ruiner for the time being instead.
Ruiner is set in a world that is just the dirtiest, dankest, shittiest cybernetic hellhole you can imagine. Companies are big and it seems like everyone is out to kill each other. The most dangerous people seem to be a group that goes against an organization known as Heaven, lead by it’s boss, called… Boss. These three people, a hacker named Wizard, a mechanical parts distributor named TrafficKing and the owners of a system of virtual reality mind alterations called the Sick Sisters. You play as a rogue AI known only as Puppy who is tasked with finding his brother by any means necessary with the help of a female hacker known only as Her in the hopes of finding some sense of self rather than being a mindless killing machine. So let’s kill everyone we come across. First and foremost, I usually turn the brightness in games up to the max since it’s hard for me to see, but that is a huge mistake in Ruiner. The bright as hell reds start to hurt my eyes after a while, so it is much easier if I just turn the brightness way down before starting. A minor complaint, but damn, I get what it’s going for, but it’s hard to see what it’s going for. First and foremost, I love the character design in this game. One thing or another, everyone has strange mechanical parts to them. Puppy having a robotic head that changes images depending on what you say and what is said in the cutscenes, TrafficKing and the Sick Sisters being completely covered in mechanical stuff, and a lot of NPCs in the game with parts all over their bodies. The style of characters is really nice to look at. And that’s just the characters. There’s the small city section you explore that has all sorts of neon lights, tons of characters walking around, and plenty of establishments that reck of eastern and western cultural clashes. I wish we could explore this setting a little more, have some side missions to do and such. But I enjoyed what I saw from it.
However, exploring a cyberpunk setting is not what you will be doing most of the game. Most of your time in this game will be spent going through the top down settings of massive industrial labs and facilities, killing a variety of guards with melee weapons and firearms. And is it fun? At the start, it’s a little slow for my taste and the enemies have this rag doll that is kinda unsatisfying and not funny enough as far as rag dolling goes. However, once the game picks up speed, throws a lot of enemies at you, and demands you move fast and kill as hard as you can, the game starts to pick up in the amount of fun you can have. Using all the abilities you have from healing to shields to my favorite, time slow down, along with the massive amount of enemies that can appear at one time, add to the game’s addictive nature. You can choose to play it safe, hang back and wait for an opening in the amount of enemies, you can attack with the gun from a distance, you can run up close and hit them with the melee attack, or you can just rush back and forth and kill them all and rack up combo points for a perfect score. That being said, while the combat is fun, on a technical level, the game has some problems. The game does look a little cheap with the Unity engine, but being an indie game, I can look passed it. What I can’t look passed is the amount of textures that drop and the music that skips during cutscenes. Every time it happens, I feel like my PS2 is going to crash and then I am reminded this is on PS4. It’s minor, but it can be a little obnoxious at times. That said, if you can look pass the glitches, the cheap look, and the slow gameplay in the first few minutes, you have yourself a very fun, very addictive cyberpunk action game.
Ruiner was an interesting few hours of gameplay for me. It had the right amount of difficulty (Most of the time. A few bosses can go fuck themselves), and was just long enough to satisfy me. I may return to it some time in the future (HA), but if you want a really good cyberpunk action game…. Maybe Ruiner can be it. But indie has a fuck ton of cyberpunk games. Just keep Ruiner in mind
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