Re-compile hotfix: program analysis was successful
Have you ever wondered what life would be like as a program inside a mainframe? Well, as our review will reveal to you, it turns out that things are not as you might imagine in Recompile. I’d be forgiven for assuming it would involve a lot of features rather than thrilling platforming in dark, evocative settings and occasional shootouts. In his heart, Recompile it feels more like an atmospheric experience tied to a distant and fragmented story. It has many high points, but there are a number of frustrations that will become apparent along the way.
The premise is simple. You are a specially designed suite of programs tasked with restoring a powerful, idle mainframe. Recompile It does little to set things up and instead relies on the strategy of revealing more information through recoverable chunks of data it finds along the way. The first level simply drops you and your creator instructs you on your goals.
The gameplay in Recompile It consists of platforming elements combined with shooting the occasional security bots and solving basic puzzles. Everything feels satisfying enough from the moment you jump in, but the game relies on your mechanics and weaponry along the way. As such, the first level is pretty linear and easy enough to complete, but things open up once you get to the central clearinghouse. From there, you can go on your own to various levels denoted by different shades. There are red, green, blue and yellow portals that send you to unique areas.
Recompile it’s pretty easy from the get-go, but problems start to crop up once you start exploring the later levels. The main problem with the game is that it does not really indicate where you should go or in what order you should do things. Generally speaking, it’s understandable that some game developers want to encourage exploration, but that concept just doesn’t fit well with this game.
Where do we go from here?
Unlike real open world games where you can do a lot of things your way, Recompile it really won’t let you do this. As mentioned, you get better skills and mechanics along the way in each level. The problem is that you can only complete certain levels with certain skills, and the skills that you will need for one level can only be discovered in another.
In my case, I ran through two levels where I came to a stopping point and couldn’t figure out if I had done something wrong. I finally retraced my steps to the Central Exchange and decided to try another level and see what would happen. It turned out that the most menacing looking portal contained the easiest level to complete.
However, the easiest level to complete also included the most challenging boss in the game. Fortunately, I made my way through the wrong levels before meeting that boss and gained some very useful skills to help me deal with him. Even then, he was so absurdly overpowered that I had to give him cheese after about 10 tries. That particular jerk is aggressively tracking you with flamethrowers to the point that it’s not even fun, and you’ll only get one shot once he gets more enraged. At the very least, the game has an indulgent respawn system so you don’t have to worry about redoing something too crazy. Recompile However, you desperately need a fast travel system or a better sense of direction.
Aside from this, I also found the more difficult puzzles and platforming sections first out of sheer luck, or maybe lack of it. These sections were also compounded by the fact that I didn’t have the resources to hack certain terminals and instead had to sort out those with perfect shift sequences. The puzzles don’t feel particularly intuitive either. It is highly recommended that you open the menu and go to the User Manual section for more information on how to do this. You will also need to find the hacking ability first to tamper with the terminals. This hacking capability can be found within the Central Exchange, and it’s actually easy to miss the terminal the first time you’re there, so keep your eyes peeled.
Flows like an accelerated workload
Despite the game’s level design and progression issues, the movement and mechanics of the weapons are quite good. For movement, you can do things like double jump, slide, run, and finally use an extremely overpowered jetpack. You are actually getting pretty adept at these things due to more updates that I won’t be referring to directly. When it comes to weaponry, there are repeating rifles, rails, shotguns, and a grenade launcher. I made use of everything, especially during boss fights when I needed to take a couple of extra shots or adjust to close combat.
Weapon options never seemed like a problem to me and should be enough to get you through any encounter, even if you don’t have everything unlocked. Once you unlock all of its abilities, it will feel like a big bad anti-malware executable. Well, technically you are the malware. Or is it you?
Bot I want more, or at least one less
Recompile It has a lot of little minion robots that you must eliminate along the way. They are interesting enough when it comes to basic enemies, but sadly they are few and far between. All you really get is a few types of enemies to take on. Aside from the handful of boss fights, nothing particularly interesting jumps out at you. This makes the game feel more like a wonderful platformer adventure than anything else. It also makes a boss feel totally out of place.
That is an attractive code
If you’re the type that just likes to look at the scenery and smell the digital flowers in games, you won’t be disappointed. Compile again. The game features an excellent art style with some really gorgeous and complex effects. From the moment you load up the game, you are greeted with a feast of sensory details. The menus and even the sound effects date back to the perceptions many people had of computers in the 90s and earlier. Music is also a wonderful thing and often a feeling.
You’ll see lots of quick animations for bit text in menus, hear the beeps and beeps that any good mainframe should resonate with, and experience complex animations and particle effects that look good enough to be in an AAA game. . Even indie games can do some really cool stuff with graphics these days thanks to better game engines and hardware. For example, every time you get an update, you will experience a shower of hundreds of cascading light particles. I was particularly impressed when I noticed the subtle and complex smoke effects coming out of my railgun.
All of this comes in a decently optimized, stable build. I was able to convert most graphics to maximum settings and maintain a stable 60fps in 4K on an Nvidia RTX 3060 paired with an Intel 7700K CPU, 16GB of 2400 RAM, and a Samsung 870 SSD. Recompile very fast charging too. However, considering how simple the game is, this level of performance was expected. The only real criticism I have about the graphics options is that the game could use resolution scaling.
However, there are some tricky points to cover when it comes to user setup and support. For starters, Radeon users can experience regular crashes. That was the case with our review editor, who has a 5700 XT. The Nvidia card didn’t have a single problem in comparison, so it seems like Nvidia got priority on this one. There are also no camera adjustment options in this game. Everything is preset and the camera comes with a degree of clout that makes the game feel free to control. Since it’s not really a combat-focused experience, this oversight isn’t much of a problem in reality.
If machines could think
In addition to enjoying the atmosphere of each new section, discoverable narrative text snippets are sure to captivate your interest and further encourage exploration. And it’s a good thing too, because platforms eventually become obsolete. However, the narrative gets spicy. Follow the story of a team that works alongside a specialized AI to help humanity colonize a new world. This story actually takes place in the past, so you can only put things together to find out what happened to them. Anyone who loves science fiction or futurism themes will love it, and the story eventually ties into its purpose and is extremely well thought out and complex. This game is a brilliant example of how something as simple as text can be a fascinating medium on its own.
Countdown or count your fragments
Given the options at your disposal and the generous respawn system, you should never get too frustrated with the game outside of boss fights. Anyone looking for a more casual game will enjoy Recompile as long as they don’t mind taking their time with him. To be clear, if you want to smash enemies of various kinds, you will be very disappointed in this experience. Calling this Metroidvania seems over the top in my opinion. Pretty, Recompile it offers a pleasant atmosphere and an invitation to experience a fascinating narrative with twists and turns. Considering the low cost To experience this title, it is easy to recommend it if you keep your expectations in check.