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Ratz Instagib is one of my favorite games and I almost never play it, because almost no one else plays it. After beating up on a bot for five-or-so minutes, I can sometimes find an opponent or two, but it's a struggle. When Ratz launched in 2016, it was littered with CS:GO players who'd use it for practice when they weren't defusing bombs. Where'd you all go?
If you aren't familiar, instagib is an Unreal mutator that now generally refers to FPS games in which everyone starts with a one-hit-kill hitscan weapon. Though I wish some of the most-commonly played levels in Ratz were less spacious and more Unreal-like, and it doesn't replace Unreal Tournament 2K4 instagib for me, it is one of the best instagib games you can buy.
It's a polished sphere of a shooter. You have unlimited ammo and there's a brief cooldown after each shot. Bunny hopping increases your speed Quake-style, and you can 'rocket jump' by firing a pulse out of your gun with the right mouse button. The respawn timer is pretty short. That's all you need to know, really. You'll dance with other players, balancing your own erratic movements against your need to aim, and trying to predict their trajectories. It's beautiful.
What makes Ratz a great package, and not just a rehash of an Unreal mutator, is that just about everything, from your crosshair to the color of opponent players, is customizable, and there's an easy-to-use level builder.
I don't know why Ratz didn't stick—it is simple, sure, and the players who dominate really dominate, so that's part of it—but maybe we can get a couple months of full servers in to start the year. Ratz is just $2.24 right now on Steam, and you can get four copies for $6.24. The CTF mode is great fun. Just sayin'.
If special abilities in Quake make some gristly knot deep in your guts writhe and write Internet comments, you might be more interested in Ratz Instagib [official site]. And if your hand is stuck twisted into an MX518-clutching claw, as you’d have me believe, you’ll likely recognise both parts of that name. Ratz, from ye olde Rats maps which have teeny players scurrying around colossal bedrooms and whatnot. Instagib from ye olde railgunning mode where enemies explode in one hit. Combine the two and you’ve got Ratz Instagib, properly launched today after 18 months in early access.