Ruiner | Review
I love Ruiner’s cyberpunk style, but ultimately its clunky gameplay left a sour taste in my mouth. Behind the mask lies an incredibly stylish experience that could have packed one hell of a punch, but instead it bumbles along with a frustrating amount of mediocrity.

What is it?

A story-driven twin-stick shooter with a cyberpunk twist.

Is it any good?

Ruiner is a challenging game, but only because it pushes you through gated levels and throws waves of enemies at you, one after the other. There isn’t any level of strategy of skill involved, simply a linear bash through a set of single-player missions. It’s okay, but doesn’t quite match the strategic gameplay of Hotline Miami (another edgy twin-stick shooter), wherein players are given the opportunity to survey levels and approach in a more flexible manner.

The one thing that kept me coming back to Ruiner was its inviting world and pulsing electronic soundtrack. The city of Rengkok is one that I’d love to explore beyond the constriction of a top-down, linear shoot ‘em up and I imagine an open-world could serve as a perfect playground for its vibrant design.

Anything bad to report?

Whilst I’ve enjoyed the style of Ruiner’s gritty cyberpunk world, its clunky gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. You aren’t able to customise the sensitivity of your character’s movement and that made Ruiner’s gameplay very sluggish at times. The in-game movement couldn’t match my reaction time, which was a shame when I was faced with a swarm of enemies and very little agility. You can use abilities, one of which will allow you to dash, but it doesn’t fix the issue. It’s frustrating to see such an awesome concept locked behind mediocre gameplay.

I also would have appreciated a few gameplay modes outside of the single-player story campaign, perhaps even a multiplayer component, but unfortunately there is little to keep you invested beyond its short set of missions.

Should you buy it?

If you’re a fan of twin-stick shooters then this should keep you entertained for a short while. It oozes style and offers some okay gameplay, despite it remaining a single-player experience. If you’re looking for something that has an addictive ‘one more time’ feel to it, stick to Hotline Miami or check out God’s Trigger which is due out in 2018.

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About The Author

Joshua Ball

Meet Josh. As the head of Start Replay his overall objective is to keep things moving. Alongside ensuring that content is made on a regular basis, Josh loves attending and organising the many press events and expos that crop up. His favourite video games consist of the Arkham series and Metal Gear Solid, but there’s always room for a bit of horror. Follow Josh’s sparse tweets on Twitter or, alternatively, be sure to catch him in the crowd of the next big gaming event.

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