Recompile Review – Sloppy Code




August 19, 2021

Platform PC, Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 5

Editor Dear villagers

Developer Phgames

Indie Metroidvania-style adventures aren’t exactly uncommon these days – throw a dart at Steam’s main page and you’ll likely land on one – but the recently released Recompile still managed to stand out from the story somewhat. . expanding crowd. Partly that’s because Recompile is the rare indie game exclusive to next-gen consoles, but even without it, the game’s sleek visual style and the fun premise of “fixing a computer system from the inside out” would probably have made it run. some heads.

So yes, Recompile has its eyes on it, but the standard for these types of games has never been higher. Can Recompile hang on to the best of the indie scene or does it need to unlock a few more abilities before he can open the glowing door to success? It’s time to see if he can hack it …

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Recompile presents players as a brave program tasked with infiltrating and repairing an old mainframe represented as a colorful 3D Tron-like world. The computer is run by an advanced and apparently sensitive artificial intelligence known as the hypervisor, and as you explore this digital world, you will discover a revealing series of discussion logs between various scientists and AI. Slowly you will begin to piece together the real purpose of the computer you inhabit… and how it all went wrong.

The idea of ​​AI run amok isn’t exactly new, but it’s handled well here. The hypervisor is not warped by any malicious villain, but by the daily laziness, recklessness and ego of the scientists who work with him. Recompile is an interesting study on how even noble endeavors can easily go wrong, and how dangerous sensitive AI can be, even in “good hands.” This is one of the few adventure games where collecting all the text files is really worth it.

In terms of gameplay, Recompile sticks tightly to the traditional Metroidvania format: you explore, solve occasional puzzles, and collect abilities to open up new avenues. The game offers a certain endless amount of possibilities, as the game allows you to choose between several areas to explore first, although there is certainly a preferred order in which you have to do things. For example, the “TET” red zone contains almost all of the weapon upgrades, as well as slow motion and dodge abilities, which combine to make combat tolerable. Don’t tackle this area first and you are a constant sitting duck and game bosses are almost impossible. Breaking away from the preferred path doesn’t sound so much like a real choice as it does a special feat for hardcores.

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Recompile just doesn’t do a great job of communicating its sync capability. Starting with the color-coded doors of Metroid, there is an art of guiding players forward while making them feel like they are discovering it for themselves. In this game, you will often find yourself stuck and not sure if you need a new ability or if you just cannot see the solution. When you gain a new power that “Aha I know what this is for! ”the gratification moment is often lacking. The game also makes the crucial mistake of weakening players too much at the start of the game. Samus ends up becoming a badass in every Metroid game, but she’s fun to play right from the start. the start – the same can’t be said for Recompile. Again, combat isn’t fun at all until you’ve collected several upgrades. The same could be said for the platform. Often times , when I obtained a new ability, my reaction was not the excitement, but the irritation that the game had forced me to do without up to this point.

Maybe I was just irritated in general, as Recompile’s issues go beyond structure with a variety of core gameplay flaws. Aiming during combat is far too finicky with no options to adjust its sensitivity, hacking puzzles are poorly explained and fraught with trial and error, and the bosses are off balance, with many unpredictable attacks in one hit. Worst of all is the gaming platform, which commits all the sins of the book. It’s hard to gauge where you are in relation to platforms, your jumps seem floaty and inconsistent, and you’re constantly walking through gaps and hidden traps due to unstable camera angles. As a final kick in the pants, some of the more tricky final platforming challenges require you to watch your avatar slowly… fall… for… several… seconds each time you miss a jump.

At least Recompile looks cool, with crisp neon-tinted visuals and a unique look for each area. That said, sometimes the atmosphere is a bit calm too much thick, making exploring and platforming more difficult than it should be. The game is also missing a few technical bells and whistles – I don’t think the PS5 version of Recompile supports HDR, which is a pretty big oversight given the visual style of the game.

There are definitely times when Recompile gets into a good groove. When his visuals, crisp writing and vibe combine to create a certain unique vibe. Unfortunately, the game just doesn’t seem to chain these moments together, with various annoyances frequently interrupting the flow of the game. Then, just when you feel like quitting (the game reloads its most frustrating platforming sections), the recompilation is complete. The game can be finished in 6 or 7 hours and the game isn’t quite as responsive as the developers have promised. There are multiple endings, but they’re mostly based on what percentage of in-game collectibles you’ve managed to collect. If you want the best ending, you can spend an extra 2-3 hours in Recompile’s mainframe, but in the end the game will likely be deleted from your memory pretty quickly.

This review was based on a PS5 copy of Recompile provided by publisher Dear Villagers. You can pick up the game with a small discount here.


Recompile is sleek and well-written, but its messy Metroidvania structure and clunky platform spoils the fun it could have offered. Maybe this game would have been easier to recommend a decade ago, but in a world where Hollow Knight and Axiom Verge exist, and a real Metroid game is coming out in about a month, Recompile just isn’t up to the task. code height.


  • Elegant and neat visuals
  • Interesting sci-fi meta-story
  • Metroidvania formula sometimes clicks

The inconvenients

  • Key upgrades retained
  • Lack of guidance can be frustrating
  • The often infuriating platform
  • Poor conception of the boss
  • Small replay

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