Review: Ruiner (PS4)

Review: Ruiner (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Ruiner
Format: PSN (9 GB)
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Reikon Games
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €19.99 (EU), £15.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Ruiner engages the senses within the first moments of booting up the game, like a crazed chimpanzee violently shaking its cage while you stare at it dumbfounded from the other side of the zoo’s safety railing.

You’re dropped into the city of Rengkok equipped with a gun and a metal pipe as standard weapons. There will be ample opportunity to swap to more powerful and very different weapons dropped by the enemy and through weapon caches if you can hack them by pressing the correct button combination before the short timer runs out.

I soon learned that standing still during an encounter is usually followed by a quick and painful death. Making use of the dash move becomes invaluable, especially when up against the bosses.

You’re able to unlock and upgrade the various abilities at any point during the game using skill points. You can also remove spent points and use them on a different ability whenever you wish, which is generally a good idea when facing troublesome opponents that seem to get the better of you.

Karma is the currency in the game and it can be found hidden throughout the levels and gained with every enemy killed. It can even be reclaimed from the weapons that lay scattered on the floor at the end of each stage using a weapon grinder.

Finding the best combination of abilities will take a long while. I like using my energy shield and dashing into enemies, sending their ragdoll corpses flying through the air. For the stronger adversaries, the shock launcher is great at stunning them long enough to attack.

You’re not alone in the journey and you’ll get help from all manner of people, although some might need a bit of gentle persuasion along the way.

The idea of acquiring the coveted Platinum Trophy for this game is nigh on impossible, for me at least. Seeing as one of the Trophy requirements is completing the game without dying, I doubt I would manage that. Another is to die 666 times. Not a problem.

Visuals:
Images invade the screen like one of Tyler Durden’s hallucinogenic subliminal messages. The action is fast, methodical, and sublime. Imagine if Hard Boiled and The Matrix had a baby. The somewhat linear levels are either a placid grey stained with smears of blood or the entire scene is bathed in red or blue light.

Ruiner portrays a dark and sleazy future with the poor eking out an existence among the rats and refuge of the wealthy. It’s a place where even the alley cats have mysterious secrets. I especially like the detailed and gorgeously stylised character images that look just as good as most comics I have read.

Between levels, you’re free to explore the dark and cramped slum area where you can talk to its inhabitants and even pop into some of the establishments. The squalid world mirrors the people and both are dismal and foul but still strangely inviting and interesting, like a rotten and wobbly tooth that you cannot help but touch every now and again.

Audio:
I only wish there had been more voice work for the residents of the slums and beyond. Aside from that, I love every part of the music and sound effects that fill my ears. I adore the female voice urging your character onward, calling him “Puppy”. It reminds me of Emily Browning’s character from American Gods.

Some of the dialog felt clichéd but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Just don’t expect any Pulitzer Prize-winning writing and you’ll be fine.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
I was instantly sucked into the captivating world of Ruiner. The controls are good, if you can master them, but for a short time it was a struggle and death came easily. Maybe it boiled down to me choosing the wrong abilities or not making use of the dash enough, either way, it took awhile to get into the swing of things.

I love the art style and characters but the dialog needs some work. Aside from that, I enjoyed kicking butt and getting all of those sexy S+ ranks. Don’t be afraid to tweak the difficulty until the combat begins to gel and try different upgrade configurations as there are a couple of great ones.

I would have liked to revisit Rengkok before I inadvertently began my last few missions as I still felt I had more things to do there but I guess I could just start a new game and cherish the delightful Blade Runner inspired city all over again.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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