After selling 13 million units world wide, you didn’t really think the Gears of War franchise was over right? While the fine folks at EPIC Games are have shifted focus to other endeavors (see Fort Night), they’ve handed over their precious (and lucrative) franchise to their friends at People Can Fly, the sadists behind last year’s Bulletstorm. With the world of Sera saved and all that, where does the Gears franchise head next? Simple, THE PAST!
This is rCompelx: a stylish indie game from EVENT games, published by InterWave studios. You assume the role as a mysterious running man armed with only a gun and a few bullets… oh, and a scythe attached to the gun. All you need to do is constantly stay one step ahead of the dark tentacles that seek to consume the man, and dodge the obstacles in the man’s path. Along the way the player unlocks memories, told through the protagonist’s monologue (think Alan Wake), which slowly pull back the curtain on the man’s story and how he came into his current predicament. Sound easy?
All you have to do is Survive… it’s quite challenging. I found myself constantly struggling to gain an edge, monitoring the darkness behind me, while also keeping an eye on the obstacles in front of me. It’s a blast. You can shoot into the darkness to keep the tentacles at bay, get captured and you sacrifice your scythe; run out of bullets… and well… good luck. I’ve played games similar to this in game mechanic and felt as if I could do this “all day” if not for the onset of boredom or carpal tunnel… this is not one of those games.
Keep yourself upright long enough and the game enters Zen mode, which seems to keep the darkness indefinitely at bay, but at the cost of faster movement speed — it’s a blessing and a curse — I thought my reaction time was poor at normal speed, Zen mode really puts your fingers to the test as the game’s camera smoothly zooms in and out of the action to call the your attention to details in the background and foreground, respectively.
Everything about the game is engaging. The art style is somewhat reminiscent of Killer 7, where rich worlds are created from just a few solid colors and gradients; in game messages are woven into the level design. The soundtrack is infectious. Your drive to succeed will either hinge upon the unraveling of the story, or challenge your inner perfectionist … yes, the game keeps track of how many bullets you fire in a level, how many times you fall down, etc.
The game is a total trip, provides a great challenge, and a compelling story to keep you engaged. You can snag rComplex from the iTunes store for a modest $1.99.
Remember, when I said the game was HARD… well now it’s hard. That is to say, recent updates give players the option of using “tap” instead of swipe controls. The camera has been pulled back a bit to give players a bit more time to react to the obstacles, however the game is still quite challenging in a good way. GameCenter functionality coming soon. Support quality games and small development teams!
About InterWave Studios
InterWave Studios is an indie game development company that specializes in making bloody awesome games. Made up of dedicated gamers who spend far too much time playing and developing video games, InterWave’s goal is to make genre-bending titles that combine the best elements in order to create uniquely fun and entertaining experiences. As part of the TechConnect holding, the gamers at InterWave rely on an extensive background in development, communications, marketing and online publishing. Nuclear Dawn was their first title.