Retrovirus is a six degrees of freedom shooter which sends players into the depths of a computer on a search and destroy mission against an invasive virus. Retrovirus is being created by Cadenza Interactive, the indie studio behind the popular tower defense game Sol Survivor.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (125 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 31, 2013
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Reviews

"A really superb FPS, and blessedly a six-axis one, made intricate through some really genuinely smart weapon design of the like not seen in a shooter for far too long."
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"I forgot how much I really missed this style of game and the overall look and feel really brought me into the game's world."
Co-Optimus - 4.5/5

"Retrovirus masterfully revamps and improves on the winning formula that hooked players almost two decades ago"
Gamespot - 7/10

About This Game

Retrovirus is a six degrees of freedom shooter which sends players into the depths of a computer on a search and destroy mission against an invasive virus. Retrovirus is being created by Cadenza Interactive, the indie studio behind the popular tower defense game Sol Survivor.


Players take command of an antivirus program, armed with the tools necessary to erase the virus’ very existence from the system. Movement and exploration are core to the gameplay, and players are encouraged to adapt to the demands of a world where free flight is the norm. Of course, the virus is armed to fight back, and first person shooter combat features heavily as players test their level of comfort with movement within the machine environment. Each player is able to customize their antivirus program with different plugins, allowing for a variety of approaches to a given situation.


The Retrovirus single player campaign focuses on the core story of the game, with the player’s goal being the eradication of the virus and the discovery of its origins. To defeat the virus, the player must solve puzzles, engage in dogfight-style combat, and explore the depths of the virtual world.


Retrovirus also features multi-player modes, designed to engage players’ social and competitive sides. Co-operative multi-player allows players to complete the campaign of the game with a friend, teaming up to restore the system to working order. Competitive multi-player will focus on the core of the six degrees of freedom shooter, hearkening back to the action-oriented shooters of the late 90’s and early 00’s.

Features

  • Discover movement within a six degrees of freedom environment, free from the limits of traditional gravity-based environments.
  • Delve into a two-layered story, exploring the real-world origins of a malicious computer virus and cleansing the inner workings of the infected system.
  • Fight battles, complete puzzles and explore an environment built for the free-flying citizens of the computer system.
  • Customize an antivirus program, focusing on strength, speed or cunning, with weapons and utilities to suit a variety of play styles.
  • Join with a friend to remove the virus from the infected computer by playing the campaign in co-operative mode.
  • Compete against other players in a variety of multi-player modes, testing the limits of combat with six degrees of freedom.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz dual-core CPU
    • Memory: 2GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.5 GB free space
    • Graphics: VNVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, AMD Radeon HD 2900, or higher
    • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Okay, why were people expecting Descent? In D, you're in AN UNDERGROUND MINE. It's gonna be crampped and kinda confusing. A personal computer's busses are not gonna come anywhere near that, and it does become quite klausteric in some portions, emphasising quick judgement and 6DOF-CQC, like Descent. The graphics are supposed to be fancy to reflect modern computers, although I will say that the engine the game runs on is quite inefficent, but powerful nonetheless.

One of the only negative aspects I can find about this game is the AI, where they're just kinda point-and-shoot, and don't move around much or do anything special like Big D had. I also didn't like how the conductor has this OP hitscan weapon while infected, but when NOT infected, he's defenseless. Don't do that.

Okay, good elements: THE SOUNDTRACK. OH MY GOD THE SOUNDTRACK. It ain't D's techno shenanigans, but it fits the game damn fine, the synths come in warm and cold flavors and the boss themes are on-point, the neurofunk and Amen work is immaculate, and aranged OST is a standalone album - no question. Jonanthan Peros did a wonderful job composing and producing both the procedural and aranged work. I couldn't fathom how many bassbins would be destroyed if he ended up with a record deal on some label like Mindtech.

The story was grand. There were two layers: The good ol' fashion blow everything to Kingdom Come and save the babes, and then there was the email layer that told a deeper story for all those >muh immersion folks. I also like how the protag you play as actually IS a retrovirus. Able to function independantly through the system with no operating AV controller, change it's code on the fly, and then there's the Oracle's ability to forge definitions for unknown malware.
This level of AV tech simply does not exist yet. It is some next-level shit. Most of the time, you have to have someone in meatspace to hand-scan lines and lines and lines of code before pushing it through with the next definitions update.
I also LOVE the little detail at the end where the only weapon that can hurt the final boss (which takes place in the BIOS, obviously) is the Interupt (shotgun). If you know anything about computers, you'd know why that is.

Lastly is the gameplay. It's a bit slow, but the open Steam Workshop allows for gameplay modifiers, and Big D's was actually fairly slow too, until you mastered chording and/or the AB (D2 and especially in D3 where pulsing it at 100% can accelerate you to breakneck speeds). Honestly I found it completely playable, but the framerate kinda made it hard, but I pushed through anyway beceause it was enjoyable. I also liked the upgrade system, while it didn't seem complete, it was very useful and I got a lot of use out of it - switching between abilities while under fire to fulfill a situation that my current loadout can't eat.
There was one bug that bugged me, and that was that rockets that hit walls don't hurt you, but if they hit a target, they do hurt you.
OH, and there are bugs that prevent you from 100% the whole game. But I got all the emails, so no biggie.

Overall, 8/10 would play again. In fact, I actually have played it twice. Oh, and I bought the album. It can be found here.


And before I get any downvotes or nasty comments, look at my icon (boss6's face), look at my current handle (bossrobotdad). I've been Going Down, Again! since 1995, and currently I've completed an Ace run (5.4mil points, all hostages, all ES missiles, all secret levels) and working on my Insane run. I like to come out of focus with the game to watch my own fingerwork on the keyboard because I'm amazed at how far I've come since '97/'98.
Do you think you can find a bigger Big D fanbwoy on this platform?
Don't answer that.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
This is an underrated little game... A cross between Descent and Tron, with graphics reminescent of Portal. Not without its flaws, but enjoyable nevertheless, which is what matters in the end. Note that these comments apply to the single player campaign only, as I did not try the multiplayer.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
50.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Even though Retrovirus is a classic shooter at heart it brings enough new concepts to feel original. Retrovirus plays like a cross between Descent and Tron 2.0, and is styled like a distopian perversion of the classic Disney game. It really stands on it's own in a segment of FPS gaming that has been overshadowed by big money, high production hits like Far Cry 3, Crysis, and Call of Duty. I've been waiting for an FPS like this for a long time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
This fun little game looks like a mix of Halo, Tron, Portal 2 and Wall-E.
In Retrovirus you get to fly inside the Grid killing flood and saving what looks like P-body or Atlas's head(torso?), your A.I. buddy is some what a mix of Cortana, Eve and GlaDOS, while you are the Agent, the top of the line antivirus and mallware-destruco in the world.
Enjoy the game!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
While it doesn't quite have the same punch and omph as Descent, it's as close as you'll get.

I really like the upgrade and downgrading. If you upgrade a weapon and change you mind, you can remove the upgrade and place it into something else. This is a feature more games need to have. The art style is simple but very nice and colorful and it's fun playing around with all the weapons you get and seeing how the scan affects them.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Better than Norton, McAfee, Bitdefender, Webroot, Avast and AVG combined.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 13
Descent clone, but not fun. Repetative objectives, boring enemies, large open worlds that are sometimes confusing -- it looks good, but it doesn't have that same feel of "I could die around the next corner" as the descent games did. You can just zip around fairly care free. Got bored. Maybe it gets better, but lost my attention already in the 2nd level (btw levels are quite long, which is good and bad) with only getting 2 guns and 2 types of enemies to attack -- got bored.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
I was excited to play this game, and the initial opening of the game offered a nice twist on FPS tropes, but after the novelty of six axis shooting action wears thin, the shallow experience surfaces and it becomes tedious fast.

Level design is monotonous, enemies are dull, and the shooting feels underpowered and weak. And while the premise of the game is great, the actual execution is just bland and uneventful.

Stick to Descent 1 and 2.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I usually love supporting indie devs with positive reviews of their work. If Retrovirus was half its length, I'd do it for it, too. But to say it overstays its welcome is selling the tedium of this game short. It's a thankless slog through a game which behaves like it's an early beta and not a full release, and the more you play, the more you feel like the devs are out of ideas and just play for time to be able to say that their game is X hours long. As a short experience, this could've been really cool, if not mechanically inspiring. As it is, I can't really recommend it unless you find it VERY cheap somewhere.

Sorry that Retrovirus is being made an example in this case, but devs have to understand that you've got to do what you're comfortable with. If you've got content for 3 hours, make a very well paced, tight game, and players will remember it for being better than six or eight hours of the same thing over and over again, motivated by a plot thread so thin that you'd need a microscope to see it.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2013
Let me start with, I do not dislike this game. It isn't a great game, but it's not bad either. Gameplay reminds me of Descent(Never heard of it? Look it up!). The idea is you are an antivirus program inside of an infected computer. Of course the inside of the computer is designed to be like subways, and other tight rooms and corridors. I don't know why I can't get Wreck it Ralph out of my head but it can relate. Different programs are different characters. Anyway, the computer was infected with a worm so you have to work your way to finding it, killing stuff, and upgrading your definitions(abilities) to fight it.

So far there is a decent variety of weapons, enemies and challenges. You are introduced with more along your journey at a not very impressive rate. It does get repetative so I can only do about a level or two at a time. But that might just be me haha and I do not think I am very far in it so things can really pick up soon. I'll post updates as I play more or when I finish so check for comments before buying if you want to read any more crap I spew.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2013
Buy? Likely. Retrovirus is a Six Degrees of Freedom (6DOF) FPS about a world within a person's computer, where a destructive worm has infected and corrupted the system. Your task as an agent of the anti-virus program is to of course, delete this worm. Emails scattered across the system, hints to the reasoning behind the worm attack.

6DOF essentially means freedom of moment, so you're constantly flying and have to deal with threats that can occur from any angle in 3D space. RV can't escape (and possibly doesn't want to) the comparison to Descent and Forsaken/Forsaken 64 - I think the developer refereneces Descent in forums.

Mecanics are based on weaponry and technology that use a limited, but regenerative resource called cycles that are displayed on your gun. You also have a scan function to highlight enemies, a charged scan to scan a wide area of enemies and to activate marks (bullet holes) made by your weapons. These marks vary depending on the weapon, such as a small explosion with the pistol-like Dual Strike, push back with the minigun style Thrash, or creation of gravity wells with the shotgun-like Interruptor, my personal favoritte. The use of cycles essentially means unlimited ammo, but requires you to manage shooting as you can easily run out if you shoot too much and you don't have any reload canisters. This is a problem with the larger hoard fights and some boss fights as there where times I felt I couldn't deal with the threat and I felt impossible with the Corrupted Driver boss battle (until I found a level exploit). You can also upgrade your "ship" and weaponry with bytes earned from killing enemies, destroying corruption and orange byte pickups which I think are called Memories.

I LOVE the high tech "Futuristicy" art style, though I'm not sure what I think about the combination of that mixed up with destroyed stone and concrete walls thanks to the Worm. I guess the idea is that the Worm is so destructive, that it's destroying the actual physical structure of the machine (though, the system is nothing like any computer I've any seen, it's obviously an interpretation)

I found the game mostly enjoyable and I enjoy the technology puns and references - computer geeks may get a laugh out of the dialogue's sense of humor. I did get more annoyed near the latter quarter of the game where I died alot due to a couple bosses and a couple hordes. It's a shame that this game wasn't advertised well, because hardly anybody knows about it and there's never anybody available for Co-op campaign or competitive multiplayer (except for certain Days when the developer hosts game sessions).

If you're somebody that liked Descent or Forsaken, or a computer geek that likes sci-fi FPS games, this game is definitely worth checking out - it provided me with at least 12+ hrs of gameplay (admittedly, more deaths than I'd like). I must warn you that the game may require a strong gaming system, as the frame rate can drop significantly - it has 12-15fps on my Intel HD laptop and drops like crazy when I accidentaly leave Folding@Home on (though, it's CPU intensive anyways, but many players mentioned performance problems - look at the community hub) Due to the lack of community, it's probably best to wait for a sale or bundle.

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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Once you get past the vertigo, Retrovirus becomes a great little shooter that also resurrects an FPS sub-genre that absolutely deserves its new lease on life.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
A very fresh and new concept for an FPS. However, do keep in mind it is horribly optimized and only runs on the best gpus from 2011 and onward.

IT IS HORRIBLY UNOPTIMIZED.
DON'T BUY FOR MULTIPLAYER, THERE ARE VERY LITTLE ACTIVE PLAYERS.

If you got past the requirements to play what you are left with is a fast paced, puzzle-solving, riff raff of a good time.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2013
Interesting way of system administration.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2013
Pretty bland and slow-paced. I couldn't even recommend it to someone who loves Descent clones.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
I bought this game on a whim after having the opportunity to watch a friend play a bit of it.

I am really enjoying it. :)

I never played Descent so this style of game is completely new to me. I like the visuals of Retrovirus and the music (would buy the soundtrack). The story is nicely presented in a way that isn't intrusive but not overly vague either. There is enough concrete information given to me to follow along, while enough is left unsaid to keep me curious and exploring for more.

I have been playing on "Admin" (medium) difficulty. The gameplay has been challenging in certain areas but not to the point of making me want to break my computer. I've died frequently but instead of making me frustrated, it's caused me to reconsider my approach to the room and strategy. In other areas I have the freedom to take my time and really absorb the visuals. Certain levels "deeper in the machine" were pretty impressive and I like how the interior of the computer has been portrayed. Some optional areas are so well hidden that I couldn't find them. There is replay value in exploring to find all those hidden gems.

I use a gaming laptop and have not really noticed much in the way of performance issues that some people have commented about on the Steam forum. In some areas there is an FPS hit, possibly due to the size of the map, but it doesn't compromise the gameplay. There are some graphic glitches that the devs could spend some time polishing, and a few bugs (like Oracle speaking but the UI showing Courier's icon). I've broken out of a level once and had to reload, and there are a number of typos and grammar errors in the emails and displayed dialogue that should be fixed.

I've played just over 12 hours and thought I was basically finished. Based on my progress for one of the achievements it looks like I have a ways to go yet! I haven't tried the co-op or multiplayer options yet either.

For the price? Definitely worth adding to your collection simply for some fun.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2013
This game is surprisingly fun . Controls like a regular FPS only in a gravity free environment .
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Great 6 Axis!
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2013
If you wished Descent was slower, clunkier and more confusing, this is the game for you.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
A brilliant little game (although quite demanding on your PC) if you have the specs to run this game it's certainly worth getting

Pros:
It's simple, virus-blasting fun
it has a suprisingly in-depth Storyline (if you take time to collect all the E-Mails)
Combat is straightforward and easy to understand, same with upgrading and new weaponary
there aren't any forced tutorials, you're free to charge in guns blazing if you wish or to take it slow and be tactical
The game itself is quite amazing to look at, texture quality is good and the lighting enhances it if you can run it on High
Once you're past the vertigo and motion sickness from the 6-degrees of freedom, it's really enjoyable to control

Cons:
Certain objectives aren't very well explained
there are a coule of spelling mistakes and pronunciation errors that I've noticed so far (I won't mention them)
this is the biggie and, I can't stress this enough, This Game is TERRIBLY optimised , you need a Beast of a computer to actually get through the later levels when more and more enemies are sent at you, if you have a low or mid-range PC, Do Not Get This Game
when you first start going through pipes and turning upside-down, you'll get quite dizzy or confused, so give yourself time to adjust to it (apparently it has Occulus Rift support but I doubt that's a good idea)

Overall, a good game but it has it's downsides, the big one being the poor optimisation which made me quite sad when my PC started failing to Cope with the later levels :c
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