Recompile is a cool Tron-like metroidvania-lite

Avatar image for humanity
Humanity

21667

Forum Posts

5738

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 40

User Lists: 16

No Caption Provided

Showcased recently by none other than the Boss of Bosses during UPF, Recompile is a fun little game with a really strong look.

There is some very light combat
There is some very light combat

You are essentially a program in a computer mainframe and you jump around fixing things from the inside. The presentation is really great, blending a minimalistic approach with stylized effects and vast levels that dwarf your character. Everything is sort of surreal but also vaguely computer adjacent. Why would the inside of essentially "code" look like giant cathode tubes? I don't know but it looks cool. The primary focus in Recompile is platforming. Each biome is comprised of several zones which you have to traverse and do some light puzzle solving. None of it is all that complicated but almost all of it has that satisfying "light 3 giant tubes that feed into a 4th giant tube" effect which scratches that checklist itch for me real well.

The map is maybe a little more style than function for my tastes but I do love the look
The map is maybe a little more style than function for my tastes but I do love the look

The platforming is generally fun and creative with what you're traversing and the movement abilities you unlock. My main knock against it, and I can't believe this is the second indie game I played that has the exact same problem, is that your character doesn't really cast a shadow. This means that when you're landing on small platforms and ledges, as is often the case in Recompile, it is hard to judge in a 3D plane where you're landing. Towards the latter half of the game you unlock an upgrade that helps with this but by then you will probably only have one area left to go.

No Caption Provided

Technically Recompile is a metroidvania although I think the game is much too small to really make use of the structure. Although at first glance you are free to tackle each of the 5 biomes in any order you wish, it quickly becomes apparent that there is a very rigid order to follow. Likewise there is nothing in the sense of health upgrades that you can actually go back and collect once you have acquired new abilities. The only items to collect are your skills - weapon, movement, hacking - and chat logs which are responsible for the vast majority of world building and storytelling. Unless you're a speed runner or you just don't care you will want to find and collect all the data logs in each area to keep steadily uncovering the story beyond the computer. I hate audio logs or e-mails in games, my eyes somehow instantly glaze over, and yet I found the story here interesting enough where I was happily reading even the longer logs just so that I could piece another part of the puzzle together.

Recompile has one of my favorite types of formats where you clear area by area and can easily tell how far you've progressed. It's one of these nice "ok one more zone for tonight" type of games with very concise break points. I played mostly on my TV speakers but one thing I noticed is that when I put on my headphones one late evening the soundscape for this game is fairly harsh? It's very digital but also very sharp at times I would say downright unpleasant.

Either way, it's on Game Pass, PC and PS5 so choose your poison.

Avatar image for takayamasama
takayamasama

1677

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#2 takayamasama  Online

I really dig the look of this game, as well as the atmosphere and the intriguing use of music for exploring, but I think I hate the combat...which makes me not want to continue playing this. I have 3 different versions of shoot now, but my issue with all of them is that: the game seems to give you little to no shot impact feedback. I have no idea if I'm hitting my target and more often than naught, it turned out I just unloaded in the direction of an enemy but didn't actually hit them and died.

I'm at my first boss which is a giant flamethrower spewing pyramid and I just had to turn the game off after constant death after death. I didn't even feel like I was scratching the enemy, yet if I got hit by a second of it's flame I was already down below half health. Oh and it's incredibly fast so even if I dodge, by the time I've brought my camera back around to shoot at it, the boss is already charging my ass with another flamethrower.

It's a real shame as the look and style of this game is top notch, but I don't think I want to struggle through the less-than good combat necessary to see more of the game.

Avatar image for humanity
Humanity

21667

Forum Posts

5738

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 40

User Lists: 16

@takayamasama: See for that boss specifically I think you are meant to have an upgrade found in the very first TET Shield area that basically toggles bullet-time on/off with the press of a button. Because I remember even with the game moving at about 25% speed that boss was still fairly challenging in that I had to keep dodging constantly.

You will encounter one of these bosses at the end of each biome and without the slowdown I don't know how I would have managed them. They seem fairly quick even in slow-mo so I'm assuming it is meant to be another gating mechanic like platforms that require a better jump and so forth.

If you are enjoying the atmosphere then I would strongly suggest going back and getting the upgrade and then pushing forward. That biome is the security sector and it has the most combat in the entire game. Most other biomes don't have nearly as much of it with just a baddie or two popping up here and there to spice things up and even then you will eventually gain the ability to simply hack them or one-shot them.