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 (119 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 31, 2013
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"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.


  • 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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
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!
Posted: September 25
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.5 hrs on record
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 ♥♥♥♥. 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.
Posted: October 16
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
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.
Posted: April 27
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Graphics are old, controls are clunky, story seems outdated (get it?) Yet theres something about this game that makes you wanna keep playing it.
Posted: May 26
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
A brilliant little game (although quite demanding on your PC) if you have the specs to run this game it's certainly worth getting

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

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
Posted: June 2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
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.
Posted: July 9
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.7 hrs on record
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.
Posted: September 11
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
very good game you will enjoy it but the multiplayer is dead
Posted: June 26
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Retrovirus is a pretty fun game, I am not certain what genre I would call it, Adventure?, Mystery?, Action?, Shooter?, it can be all of those things and more, the single player is a good length and has a story that can keep you entertained, it's not best seller but its fun. and the multilayer, well i'm no expert, I was only ever able to find two or three player matches but I enjoyed myself there a bit as well. Overall I think its one of those game where you love it or hate it, I think its best too read up on the game yourself but I wish you luck and hope you like Retrovirus at least as much as I did.
Posted: May 11
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
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.
Posted: September 13
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2.5 hrs on record
There has been a hole in the gaming world since "Descent 3" in 1999, thanks to Cadenza Interactive that hole has become a bad memory with the introduction of "Retrovirus" to the world.
Posted: May 1
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0.3 hrs on record
Do not buy for the occulus rift. It's very unoptimized even at low graphics and the lag will make you sick.
Otherwise, for normal game play, it's decently fun.
Posted: May 18
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12.1 hrs on record
Great game, although the traffic for multiplayer is low. Love the concept, albeit the story is a bit repetitive and drawn out.
Posted: June 25
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21.1 hrs on record
I've seen plenty of people say that this game is reminiscent of Descent, and it's no lie to me. I find it to be a good game for the most part with the characters having well rounded personalities and the combat being sufficiently difficult with nice dynamics. It's shortfall is that it repeatedly recycles some of the levels near the end, but it's not too bad as the combat encounters at that time are different than before. So overall, I like it better than Descent and recommend it to anyone who has liked the latter.
Posted: June 26
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1.3 hrs on record
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.
Posted: July 27
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1.0 hrs on record
It promised Descent style gameplay with a unique twist. It doesn't deliver.

Reused textures, downright boring enemies and unimaginative weapons.

Find the "red key" for the "red door" puzzles were cool when Doom came out. And then backtracking through the map with said key to find the same enemies respawned makes for a dull experience.

I bought it for Oculus Rift support...I'm sure the dev's added this on for sales and it worked.
Posted: July 4
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6.5 hrs on record
Great game, highly recommended!
Posted: July 28
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15.5 hrs on record
This game is long and has slow pacing, it's also pretty hard. but if you are a patient person there should only be joy found here. Very solid game with unique mechanics.
Posted: August 17
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22.6 hrs on record
Edit: After sleeping on it, I find my self itching to play this game again. Yeah, it was a slow start and I took a long break between starting it, putting it down, then coming back and finishing it... But I'm sitting here today going "I really want to play more Retrovirus". To me that is the mark of a good game.


While it alludes to being a spiritual successor to Descent the pacing is generally much slower than advertised (though there are some pretty good furballs). That said, I found myself enjoying the game quite a lot. I didn't get the hang of a couple weapons, but there's a good variety in the weapons I liked, and being able to re-distribute upgrade points on the fly is extremely useful and allows you to adapt to different situaions and enemies. Highly satisfying ending! All in all I heartily recommend this game if you were a fan of the Descent games and enjoy full range of motion, or just want an interesting and quirky challenged. Also, huge bonus points for having co-op campaign mode!

My only real nit-picks were framrates in some of the largest environments, and occasionally getting clipped through a wall by enemies in a fire-fight (happened twice during my play through, and another time an enemy was stuck on the wrong side of a wall). Very minor stuff.
Posted: August 9
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4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 4
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