Publisert: 20. februar
Wrack is an awesome single-player arcade FPS, developed by small indie. It was first released in Early Access and been there for a year. One of those Early Access games that didn't fail with some drama and actually delivered.
Wrack is a old-school FPS game on the first glance. Yet when you get more in-depth you will notice that it's actually more like a mix between Arcade style gaming and FPS genre, than a blind tribute to Doom. This game doesn't make itself look oldschool on purpose either, it has quite a modern look and controls too.
It also got Time Attack and Score Attack where you compete for score/time with world and friends. Would have loved scoreboard for main campaing too. You also can play any beaten levels, and earn better medals, the reqiurements are a bit confusing though.
Presentation of the game is quite on the good level as well. It's all you need for arcade title, colorful graphics. And spot-on-sounds, great music by the Bobby Prince, who also made music for Doom, because we know, we should compare everything to Doom and mention it everywhere. He still didn't lose his talent and you can go and get soundtrack right away.
The story of the game follows... somewhere in 21XX when humanity lives happily and forgot what "military" forces is, only one man remains fitting for action is you, Kain. And the action came, as the robots invaded Earth and are planning to take the amazing generator for their own use and you have to stop them. Oh wait, it's ugly alien lizard that can be blown into many gibbity gibs. Also comes with a cool villian Exo who builds robots and doesn't have "Dr." in the name.
Cue all the fun in story cutscenes, enjoying characters talk. Shame the artwork is a bit of lacking. It doesn't have satisfying ending either, but that's OK, we play for gameplay, not ending.
While graphics doesn't have much going technical-wise, the design is a stylish and colorful, quite pleasent for the eyes. It has character to it. Weapon animations are great and lively, perhaps too much for some people. But you can disable the camera movement in options, so not a big deal. And yes, when you blow or kill enemies, they leave their blood all over walls and floor, happily blowing into gibs as well. Robots have oil that works like a blood, gibs leaving it everywhere, and it makes killing robots as fun as aliens.
Corpses of enemies don't really use ragdoll, but there is a gameplay design to it, as you can blow corpses into gibs, resetting chain combo.
Yes, chains and combos. This game is arcade game all around. There is usual affair of exploring mazes, finding switches and dominating your enemies, running at the speed of fast-paced game. It got classic non-regenerating health, your usual armor (cuts damage taken by half), supply pickups and hazards to avoid like spikeballs. And best part is that the game is Arcadey-fair, you don't feel like you died cheaply. Every enemy uses projectile attack, there are absolutely no hitscan attack, excluding railgunners! It's all about maneuvering and buttkicking, not about camping and headshotting carefully. It's one of those FPS who doesn't make you quicksave every few seconds because you may get hit into head by random bullet anytime. And this alone makes it one of better FPS games around.
Not only it's properly done for once, but it has great Arcade elements to it. There is even a bit of platforming involved when it comes to secrets. It only has one physics trick, "straferunning", where running diagonally is faster. It also uses lives system, like any good arcade title, allowing you to start fresh from checkpoint upon death instead of making you wait loading same quicksave all time. Higher difficulties, the hardest one you have to unlock by beating game, don't even allow quicksaves. You can lose all lives, but you got infinitive continues, just gotta start level from beggining. Having truly arcade-like style where you get complete game over after losing lifes would have been interesting, but hardcore PC FPS gamers who use saving all time wouldn't be able to stomach that.
Survival is nice, but what will keep your replaying got to be score system. You got the usual treasures to pick up during there, but it's no much to chain combos system, where you have to kill enemies one after another in short amount of time between each kill. It's made to be addictive, as the hit sound pitch will go higher and higher, the score upon ending the chain increases pretty much geometrically. Not only that, but you can end the chain by releasing a powerful weapon's finisher, the strenght of which depends on the level of kill chain.
No, it's not some gore-full melee fatality. These Finishers take inspirations from fighting games instead, a more damaging shot that can clear out a room if positioned correctly.
They are different for each weapon, all of them getting their job done for various situations:
-Hyperblade: Melee weapon that doesn't suck but isn't quick-knife either. Gibs most enemies and just feels great to whack with. Finisher is vertical slash, sending projectiles out.
-Pistol: Gets stuff done for long range until bazooka. More ammo than you will ever need. Finisher is railgun-like shot.
-Shotgun: Main weapon for short and even medium ranges. Main weapon actually. You do most combo chaining with it. Finisher is just strong WIDE shot.
-Pulsar: Your superweapon, like in usual Arcade game, which you would want to keep for bosses and dangrous situations. Shoots fast, ammo is rare. Finisher is a slow powerful flying plasma. Huge one.
-Bazooka: Blow anything into gibs. Good for long-range and packs of baddies. Finisher is just having more powder in rocket.
All used through the levels to fend off the various enemies. That are common weak melee robot-crawlers, kamikaze variety, usual projectile-shooting weak and tough alien soldiers, including railgunner variery too, flying patrolling robots and big melee crushers who act like walls. You should ignore crushers during big fights, unless it's the last difficulty where they are "poke me for gibs". Could use more of variety but it goes nice with chain system.
You also may notice that damage is never randomized. There is no gamble if that rocket will kill you or not. It goes good and bad with bazooka, as damage is always same no matter the distance from radius of explosion. It helps and makes sense when blowing enemies up, but you are likely to get self-instakilled just because you was a little too close.
And then the levels. There aren't tons of them, but they are nicely packed, changing theme every two levels or so. They are abstract and got not many interesting details or interactivity, but damn good mazes and have different color palletes and textures. Each levels has a few secrets, with only around 2 in whole game being hidden behind usable wall, which means that it's not about tedius wallhumping like in "proper oldschool FPS".
And best? Many bosses! And they aren't lame! Like proper arcade, they have tactics to learn and you can't just outdamage them. Wrack outdoes many FPSes here. Aside from Oculus, he becomes lame-easy once you learn tactic.
And the game got Workshop support! It comes with face-based level editor and you can make mods with just a notepad, quite inspired by ZDoom. Easy to use, can do many stuff. Try it.
The game is not perfect though. Technical problems pop-up for many users, requring more PC power than one expects (the only modern FPS that doesn't remove gibs). Could use more enemy variety. 4-5 more levels with two more themes could be great. More.
But you know what? It still is one of the only arcade FPS around, it being felt in core gameplay up to bones, making you care of score. It may not be much for those who just want to beat game once with no care. But if you pick up any level after beating game and try the best, then you will not be able to put the game down until you finished it again.