If you’ve been pining for the claustrophobia-inducing spaceships of classic sci-fi horror games, Ripout might be the game for you. Although the game is flawed, Ripout seeks to revive the essence of Doom 3 and Dead Space while adding its own aspects.

First of all – it’s a roguelike.
Secondly, the idea of being able to tear off parts of your enemies to use for yourself is exactly the kind of weirdness that the game is supposed to attract players with.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the aspects of this rather ambiguous and ambitious game.

  • Developer: Pet Project Games
  • Publisher: 3D Realms
  • Release Date (Early Access): October 24, 2023

Ripout is a horror/sci-fi first-person shooter in which players attempt to break through derelict ships to complete various objectives. The player is constantly being attacked by terrifying creatures with writhing flesh and shaking limbs. On the plus side, you have a live gun that can jump on enemies and take their limbs for yourself. Unusual.

The game is also co-op-oriented, and the gameplay style will be very familiar to anyone who has played a co-op PC game in the last decade and a half. You and your friends meet in a lobby where you can upgrade your equipment, apply various cosmetics, and choose different nearby ships to explore with your crew. You can also play the game alone, but it’s a more challenging experience, even with the free revival token they give you.

In terms of combat and gameplay, Ripout is very well made. The firefights are executed perfectly, and all of your weapons have nice attack animations whenever you use them, both in melee and ranged combat. You spend most of your time crawling through dark corridors, usually littered with blood and/or broken machine parts. It all comes together to create a fantastic and depressing atmosphere that forces you to literally listen closely to the sounds of monsters bursting out of a pile of flesh before attacking you.

There’s definitely something tense about the game, perhaps due to the difficulty factor. You have a limited light source, and many rooms are dark. You can also feel overwhelmed pretty quickly, especially early on when you have basic equipment without any upgrades.

In terms of gameplay, Ripout is a first-person shooter that sometimes feels like an arcade game, but the character movement feels odd. It can sometimes seem too slow if you’re not running, but the stamina bar prevents you from moving faster while exploring. While the purpose of this system is clear, it doesn’t necessarily contribute to the enjoyment of the game.

You have an alien-like weapon that is also your favorite weapon. You can throw it at enemies to temporarily stop them and deal damage. The gun is definitely one of the most fun things in Ripout, and I would have liked to see it expanded. If your pet kills one of the crawling creatures that merge with enemies, you can use their power. They can give you healing abilities, a claw that does good damage, a shield, or even an extra ranged weapon.

The gameplay loop involves selecting the next procedurally generated mission with randomized upgrades, completing simple tasks, returning to the shuttle to create new items from collected resources, and then moving on to the next mission. Despite its promising concept, Ripout becomes somewhat monotonous after a few hours. Ships and enemies start to seem very similar, and new items can either seem inconsequential or take too long to drop.

Co-op is fun, but it diminishes the horror side of the experience. A tactical, slow-motion approach is fun, but only when enemies don’t show up in such a way that you can’t handle them. Procedurally generated missions make the game fresh, but as I wrote above, make the missions and environments less interesting.

When it comes to picture quality, Ripout can be compared to 2016’s DOOM – after six years, the visuals aren’t technologically impressive, but they still look decent.

The trick is that the artists did their job on five points. They managed to draw creepy, atmospheric levels that are scary even when there are no enemies in sight. Tattered deeds are scattered everywhere, walls are disfigured with meat, and windows are stained with blood. The visuals do the main job of keeping you in suspense.

The soundtrack is also perfectly woven into the gameplay. Exploration of locations is accompanied by a huge amount of extraneous sounds from jammed doors, hatches falling from the ceiling and monsters roaring somewhere in the distance. Perhaps, sound design is one of the main advantages of the game.

At the end of the day, there is a lot of fun to be had with Ripout , and there is every chance that some improvements could happen before the game goes full version. But right now it’s just that the game feels somewhat empty. All the levels look the same, and the interesting concept of being able to rip out parts of your enemies to use for yourself loses its appeal pretty quickly. Perhaps co-op could add some modicum of interest. It’s worth getting your friends together to play this thing, but it’ll be a while before it becomes increasingly difficult to call someone over to once again explore the same-old corridors.

Again, I repeat that all of the above applies to a game that is in early access. The developers have a chance to make the game much more interesting for the end player and we will hope that they will not miss this chance and make a really good and memorable game.

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