So what else have you got going on these days?
I’m asking because with something like this your level of enjoyment probably depends less on the game than on whatever you happen be doing at the same time.
I can’t even imagine playing this all by itself. People have started using this term “gameplay loop,” which I guess basically means, “the thing you’re supposed to be doing in the game.” In this case that pretty much amounts to: guy charges at you; you behead him.
Sometimes you can mix it up a little and shoot them, but either way it’s just guy after guy after guy, with accelerating frequency. After enough beheadings and/or shootings, this other guy appears and you kill him, too. Then it’s right back to the beheading.
I don’t even know who these guys are. This is one of those edgy, deliberately minimalist stories in terms of its presentation, and you’re pretty much on your own to fill in the blanks. Well, it takes place in a cyberpunk-looking neon dystopia, so I assume they’re corporate assassins or a crime syndicate or something.
I’m going to say they killed my master, and thus I’m honor bound to go out in an avenging blaze of glory. That’s my story.
The gameplay options are equally sparse, although for an ultra fast-paced game like this that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You have exactly one room to contend with; and while you can change your equipment beforehand, once the action starts there’s no more screwing around with menus or anything like that. It keeps you focused entirely on the bare essentials, slashing, aiming, dodging, planning your next move as your enemies close in on you. The controls are really sharp and precise, and you always end up doing what you intend, which is important in a game where you die in one hit.
Believe me, I speak from experience there. Surprisingly enough, that never got frustrating. You just start over again a second later and one run blends right into the next. It does wear thin pretty quickly, but while it lasts it really puts you in the moment, balancing you on a knife’s edge of life and death with every swing of your sword. Simple as it is, there’s a satisfaction in choreographing a new ballet of death with every run, even if it’s all pointless in the end. It’s kind of relaxing, in fact. Maybe that’s a strange thing to say after a few hundred beheadings, but there it is.
As a full-fledged game it may be a bit lacking, but it makes a fine accompaniment to any podcast, ambient music or Youtube video that you’re half-watching.