Ruiner from Devolver Digital and Reikon Games is an action shooter set in the year 2091 in a brutal and grim future. Learn more about it in our Ruiner review!
In Ruiner you take control of someone with a weird-looking helmet in the far future that has a voice in his head telling him to kill the boss. Until, you know, another voice in his head tells him not to do it – the usual, right? You will soon realize that your brain has been hacked so that you carry out the assassination attempt of the boss of Heaven, and your brother has been kidnapped as collateral to make sure you do what you’re told. Can you save him before it is too late?
As for the game’s controls, they’re something you’ll need to try for a bit before things click. You more around with the left analog stick, but must toggle between walking and running by pressing left on the D-Pad, which is a bit weird – you can also dash the L1 button if you want to move very fast in an instant. The right analog stick controls the direction in which you’re facing, bringing this one closer to a twin-stick shooter. You attack with the R1 button, and can use your ranged attack with the R2 button. Abilities are selected from the radial menu you can open with the Triangle button, and you can use your smartware ability by pressing the Circle button. If you want to drop your current weapon, you can do so by pressing down on the D-Pad so that you can grab a new weapon to keep the killing spree going.
Before you dive into the action, you’ll be able to select between three difficulty options. Easy is for those of you who have a hard time with the combat and would just like to take on the game without having to worry too much about dying. For Normal, the challenge is ramped up a bit so that you can play the game against deadlier enemies. And then there’s Hard which, as the name suggests, is harder than the rest, and is actually recommended by the developers – even if the challenge is aimed at hardcore players who are good at this type of game.
The game’s first area will act as a tutorial of sorts, allowing you to get to know what your character can do, as long as you keep him alive and with enough energy! You’ll learn some interesting tricks such as the multidash which will allow you to hold down the L1 button as you set waypoints around the area with the R2 button so that you can quickly dash around as you kill enemies around you.
As you play, you will acquire skill points which you can use to purchase abilities and upgrades. To be able to purchase new abilities, you will need to increase your Karma level. Once you purchase an ability, you can improve it some more by getting upgrades. The fun part is that you can deactivate skills and recover skill points to basically respec your character. For example, the first time you have access to the abilities screen, you can easily upgrade your shield so that it deflects projectiles and throwables, thus being able to send those flying back to enemies for some extra damage. Another option could be to upgrade your dash so that while dashing you receive 60% less damage.
You’ll then get to explore the city as you talk to the locals in a cyberpunk setting that will probably remind you of classics such as Blade Runner. In here you’ll be able to learn more about the city and the situation at hand, pick up bounties, upgrade your character, learn more about Karma, etc. It’s an interesting and lively setting that will keep you entertained as you pick up on the little details. You’ll also get to do totally normal things such as tracking down cats you’ll need to hack. Because. Because reasons.
Ruiner features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy at the end, with objectives that range from the usual trophies for completing the game at each of its difficulty settings (Easy, Normal and Hard, in case you forgot), completing the game’s Prologue and Epilogue, beating the game without dying, using your dash 9001 times, burning 420 enemies, reflecting 100 bullets with your shield, and more. It’s not a bad list, but it’s definitely a challenging one.
Ruiner is a fast-paced and hectic twin-stick game with an interesting cyberpunk setting and solid gameplay mechanics that come together to offer a fun experience. It’s a good looking game with a serviceable but predictable storyline (Betrayal! Double-crossing! Double-betrayal-crossing-from-you-know-who!), that it gets things moving from A to B to C in a way you can enjoy on PlayStation 4. The game will challenge you on Normal, and it will completely destroy you on Hard if you’re not careful, so be ready for a good challenge, particularly during what you could call mid-boss battles in which regular enemies almost pile on you as the mid-boss (with a considerably long health bar) tries to destroy you with powerful attacks and counters.
This Ruiner review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Devolver Digital.