Review: I Hate Running Backwards (PS4)

Review: I Hate Running Backwards (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: I Hate Running Backwards
Format: PSN (879.2 MB)
Release Date: May, 22, 2018
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Binx Interactive
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
So I Hate Running Backwards is a top-down endless runner shooter with roguelike elements. Instead of the enemies emerging from the top of the screen they are chasing your blocky character and appear at the bottom.

As you might have guessed from the name, your character is running backward so you can shoot at the speedy foes but it also means you have to be aware of obstacles appearing from the top.

Almost everything is destructible and with a quick melee spin, walls, trees, and even buildings come crashing down. This isn’t just for fun as it also builds up your special meter. Once it’s filled you can choose one of three random bonuses that will aid in your frantic run.

Before you start the mad dash you can leisurely choose some unlocked ‘tweaks’ to the game in the portal area. One is a baby’s dummy, which, when activated makes the game easier. Don’t be afraid to enable this as my kids struggled with the first boss and I also needed a few tries to defeat the large foe too.

Other tweaks make it more difficult by cursing the game, placing or dropping dangerous things into the play area and even sending out swarms of bugs. Activating the curses increases the multipliers so there is some reward for the added risks.

Review: I Hate Running Backwards (PS4) Review: I Hate Running Backwards (PS4)

Once an area has been completed and the boss is defeated it can be accessed through a portal at the beginning of the first stage. I prefer to go through it all since each level doesn’t really take that long.

New weapons and characters will slowly unlock as the game is played. These mix up the action quite a bit and each character has their own abilities and styles. I was using Serious Sam as the main character but now that I have a few more I have veered toward them lately.

Visuals:
I’m not a fan of the simplistic menu and game over screen in I Hate Running Backwards, especially the latter as it looks like placeholder text and images. Aside from that the actual game itself is quite nice.

The enemies are odd and one or two of them, when viewed on the loading screen, look a bit rude, according to my daughter. The bosses are large and menacing, and the first one, for example, takes up a third of the screen.

Audio:
Right off the bat in the main menu, there is a foreboding beginning to the music which changes into an electrifying and pulse-pounding beat. Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly but the music in I Hate Running Backwards is definitely not a soft lullaby, it’ll keep you on your toes and throw in some quite peculiar sound effects to make you smile.

Online/Multiplayer:
There’s a daily challenge and just like the main game, a leaderboard. There’s also a local co-op mode so another person can join in and it works just as well as playing solo. Both rack up points and it can be plenty of fun. A Trophy pop-up did get in the way of my daughter’s character but it was one of hers so she didn’t mind as much.

Review: I Hate Running Backwards (PS4) Review: I Hate Running Backwards (PS4)

Conclusion:
I Hate Running Backwards is a quirky but fun game. It likes being different and slightly weird too. Some people might take a few goes to get to grips with the little twist in the gameplay but all should enjoy the crazy run.

Will it hold your attention? Maybe not. Without a progress bar to the next unlockable and no experience points tally I sometimes felt like I was playing for no reason. Persistence pays off and the rewards do come, so stick with it.

Score:
7.0

* 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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