The best rootin’, tootin’, and lootin’ voxel FPS yet.
Mixing up genres is a bit of a hit-or-miss undertaking. It may be argued that some gameplay styles are so fundamentally different from one another that they have no place being fused together. On the other hand, when mixing works, it tends to work really, really well. Such is the case in games such as Borderlands and BioShock; two examples of first-person shooting mixed with RPG. We definitely need more games along those lines, and now thankfully the indie-developed Revulsion has hit our screens, promising to fill that very same void.
The story in Revulsion is… uhm. Well. Absent, really. You’re someone who appears trapped inside a series of industrial complexes, which have been overrun by zombies, demons, and other ghastly abominations. It sort of invokes the feeling of Quake 2, and the outside parts from the 2016 version of Doom. In fact, the overall classic Doom feel is pretty strong in this one, and that’s no surprise as it’s the brainchild of Russell Meakim, who was part of the team behind the Doom 2 expansion No Rest For The Living.
A revolting development.
You start out, predictably, rather weak, with weapons that are little more than peashooters. However, before long, you’ll find access to health and weapon upgrades and you’ll be kicking butt with reckless abandon. And you’ll be doing the slaughter in some nifty maps, featuring fair degrees of verticality and requiring attention to multiple points of attack. The levels are also filled with assorted objectives, such as flipping switches and discovering secrets, which is a welcome break from the monotony of shooting. Added to the level lineup is a selection of procedurally-generated levels to mix things up, though the majority of the outing consists of good, old-fashioned, hand-crafted levels like momma used to make. During all this, you’ll be collecting a plethora of loot and managing your character’s stats and weapons.
Stat management is surprisingly deep. Players get multiple inventory slots for weapons, armors for different parts of the body, and other miscellaneous items such as quick healing kits (which are absolutely essential for fighting the occasional arena hordes). There are multiple item types available, and are imbued with assorted buffs and debuffs: for example, an armor item might give you increased protection and decreased movement speed.
Though you may die multiple times on any given level, the game allows you the chance to recollect your dropped loot after you respawn. But this is no easy task, as enemies will respawn as well, and you only get but a single chance to reclaim your drops. Fortunately, you won’t mind too much: once your stats are upgraded, you are a formidable beast that will tear through enemies in ways that’ll make even the Doomguy blush. Weapons are fun and satisfying to use, feeling sufficiently meaty, loud, and powerful. They also include some of the staples of the genre, such as shotguns and miniguns, amusingly rendered in all their voxel glory.
You’ll occasionally run into “sanctuaries” in the world. Basically, these are safe houses where players may not only save their games, but also attend to their items and loot, buy and craft and scrap whatever they want, and choose where to head to next. Missions may also be replayed from these sanctuaries. In addition, the regular levels have means of fast-travelling as a way to negate over-reliance on backtracking and running around in circles. These add an extra incentive to explore and help trim down on redundant and repetitive gameplay.
Visually, Revulsion stands out. The voxels are a splendid touch, and give the whole game a feeling of some sort of Minecraft take on the Doom universe, though much prettier looking. The sound likewise is used to impressive effect, from the growls of monsters to the booming of the guns helps to immerse you in this strange and hostile world of blocks.
It’s tempting to call Revulsion a Borderlands clone, but that would be doing it a grave injustice. From upgrading your weapon to picking up loot, from crafting new items and encountering waves of monsters, Revulsion insures that you’re almost always making or shooting something. The high difficulty level coupled with the amount of stuff to unlock make this a game with considerable replayability. There’s a considerable amount of material here for both RPG fans and FPS lovers, and if you’re in either camp, you owe it to yourself to snag a copy of this game right away. Visit its official Steam page here to collect it!
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PC (Steam) ; Publisher: Russell Meakim ; Developer: Russell Meakim ; Players: single-player mode only ; Released: the 9th of February, 2019.
Full disclosure: this review is based on a Steam key for Revulsion provided for us by the publisher.