Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Treated to a first look at Pet Project Games and 3D Realms’ first person science fiction horror and roguelike Ripout, Richard and I took our first delve into this horror filled world. Tasked with a set of objectives and making it out alive, this will be one to keep an eye on as it travels through Early Access.
Set in the future once humanity has taken to the stars, you and up to three others can suit up to tackle abandoned spaceships in search of loot and hope in surviving the experience. Equipped with a living gun that can devour certain enemies, a standard pistol and an axe, each derelict ship will have plenty of horrors standing between you and safety. The catch? You can only move forwards in hopes of making it back to the ship. You don’t want to leave empty handed do you?
Starting off with the atmosphere, it’s creepy and it doesn’t take long to set the mood. Barely lit corridors and sounds of things moving just outside your reach? You’ll want a few people along for the ride as it helps break that tension that settles in the back of your shoulders as you move forwards. Preferably with your flashlight turned on so that you can hopefully spot creatures reminiscent of the Dead Space series before they see you. Really made me think what the hell I had gotten myself into again…
These creatures are… gross? Scary? Definitely not the things that you want to run into once the lights go out. Currently split between arm like creatures, dogs and more giant humanoids, some will try to kill you immediately while others may take a few seconds to realize that you’re standing there. In either case, ammo is limited and while you have an axe… do you really want to get close to these space monsters?
So it’s a good thing that moving around these darkened husks full of monsters feels normal enough and aiming your weapons feels just like it should with a mouse. Where things may need a bit of an adjustment is that running doesn’t really feel like running per say and it uses up a lot of stamina to do so. Otherwise, your axe works great in a pinch, the pistol isn’t a bad choice, but your living weapon? Your pet gun for lack of a better word, should almost always be your go to regardless of if you have ammo left or not.
This is really where Ripout started to sell me on it. I’m not one for horror but when you can use horrors against horrors? I’m in. Basically having a laundry list of what it can do, your pet can detach itself from your gun to attack various creatures before they have a chance of getting to you. If you’re running around, your pet can attack smaller creatures and steal what they have in order to bring back to you. If it’s an arm, it’ll give you an arm attached to your shoulder of limited use that packs for lack of a better word, a punch. Shoulder cannons are also an option as well as shield generators to take a few hits for you. It’s pretty awesome.
From these mechanics are where Ripout will either make or break your adventure. Ripout is a roguelike, not roguelite, and it has a variety of fangs just waiting to sink themselves into you. Spread throughout the darkened husks are a variety of upgrade stations that will allow you to pick temporary upgrades that last as long as your adventure does. Extra pet damage, extra health, health back on pet damage, axe damage, etc., there are upgrade stations per sector with three choices in each that you won’t want to pass up.
Currently win or lose, you’ll wind back up at your base of operations to select your next sortie. Not currently available, and I look forward to seeing how it’s implemented, there will be options to craft new armors and weapon upgrades through the components picked up while on your adventure. How many components will be required and how effective the upgrades are will need to be seen as they are implemented but it brings one more question. Just how much harder will each successive stage be, and what happens if it becomes too much? Time will tell on those items.
Finally, the one item that I would like to be implemented much sooner than later is how multiplayer is handled. Currently there’s an option to open a lobby and join a lobby. There are no ways to lock a lobby meaning that anyone could potentially drop in on your game or take up a spot currently reserved for someone else. This is about the only real issue I can see for the current moment in time short of needing to adjust the running speed.
Otherwise, I think Pet Project Games and 3D Realms’ Ripout is off to a good start. Mixing in a First Person Shooter with Science Fiction, Horror and Roguelike elements, it’s a good mix. The only thing from this point will be to see how well what comes next is implemented for both the PC and the eventual console release.Score: N/A
P.Y. has covered all of the main bases for the gameplay, so I’m going to talk a bit about the issues I had that hopefully the devs will sort out. First up, let me tell you that the pet gun is really fun, but a little restricted. There are some enemies that are easily dealt with using the pet, but will replace your current “pet weapon”, which you may not want. Minorly inconvenient, but reasonable. Another issue with your pet is that currently it can only be sent out to attack enemies while your primary weapon is equipped. Cue me changing to an assault rifle that’s out of ammo just to grab a small enemy running around. Not sure if that’s intended or not, but if so I’m on the fence about it.
Warning for you, there are environmental hazards, and they hurt. Electrical wires? Half your health gone. Literally. Throughout the demo, I took more damage from the electrical wires than I did enemies. Additionally, as P.Y. mentioned, you can select from one of three upgrades when the opportunity arises. There is not, however, anything preventing those three options from being the same. A few times I walked up to an upgrade station and saw the options listed as something like “pet damage increase, ax damage increase, pet damage increase” and I was a little sad.
I had quite a bit of fun with Ripout. Being able to shoot off portions of enemies, grab and use enemy parts or smaller enemies as weapons, and the ease of picking up and just going are nice. The ambience fits well, and the lighting isn’t bad enough to the point it’s frustrating, just enough to make you nervous. While there are a few issues here and there at the moment, that’s what being in Early Access is there to solve. I look forward to seeing where this goes.