Game Curious Plus: Ruiner - But Not Out

Justin isn't going to sit idly by after someone hacks into his brain. He's definitely going to fight and fail over and over again until he outlasts all of his enemies. Ruin them with attrition. That's the motto.

Previous Ruiner experience

  • That debut trailer was awesome.
  • Saw a Devolver logo and cyberpunk. Sold.

Initial Expectations, Hopes, Dreams, Fears

  • How hard is too hard? This has multiple meanings.
  • So are we talking Smash TV or are we talking Hotline Miami?
  • Would there be a story?
  • No idea what the mix of gameplay would be like.
  • I bet the guns and the soundtrack are awesome.
  • Looked kinda slow, would it be fun?

What actually happened

I love it when a game just starts without giving you time to ask questions. Ruiner never attempted to hold my hand, it just gave me a crowbar and a gun and sent me on my way. It's another game where I learned by failure and didn't recognize my education until I executed something awesome. It's brutal but rewarding when it comes together.

I can't say enough about Ruiner's style, but I also could be starved for some good cyberpunk. That's what immediately appealed to me about the game and it delivered on style, setting and story from go. I want to hang out in Ruiner's world, I want to learn about it, and I want to get answers for my character. I expected to only want to jump between action scenes, and I kind of fought the game at first. Ruiner wasn't as fast as I wanted it to be, but after I reset myself a bit I understood its desired pace a lot more. Then I began to appreciate that it allowed me to take in more of the world.

Ruiner

When everything clicks in Ruiner, it's a literal blast. Pulling off quick combos and dispatching thugs in explosive ways makes me feel almost as badass as that helmet my character wears. However, it's going to take a lot of practice for me to get good at Ruiner and I'm struggling to find the motivation to put in the time to make the game fun. I am still trying to decide on which control method to go with (controller or keyboard/mouse) and I couldn't help but feel I was using the wrong one. I fought the controls, I died a lot, and a few early encounters felt impossible. Worse yet, I once I conquered the impossible I didn't realize what I had done to get over the hump.

I wanted mindless arcade shooter and I got a skill-based game. I want to see if Ruiner hooks me now that I better understand its structure and desired execution. I would move on without giving it a second thought if it's world wasn't so damn cool. I think we're going to be better friends soon and I know that I really want to take down that hacker that got into my head.

Will I keep playing?

I probably shouldn't. It's going to be painful, but I also want to kill more bosses in Ruiner. I want to see more of the skill upgrades and how powerful my character gets. With a few more skills at my disposal, I may start approaching combat rooms as fast-paced action puzzles and that promise sounds damn sexy. I've got a few more attempts in me to see what Ruiner has underneath its mask.

Ruiner is available now on PC and PS4.

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