Recompile Preview – Fighting for One’s Digital Self

I wasn’t around when the original, 1982 released Tron film shocked the world with its stunning visuals and interesting video game premise. So it’s no surprise that the film not only received a sequel, but it’s also used as a reference for many of my favorite video games.

With the 3D Metroidvania-inspired action adventure game Recompile — being developed by Phigames and published by Dear Villagers — it’s easy to tell that the game is inspired by the likes of Tron when it comes to looks. After playing the title at GDC 2019, however, we can honestly say that it’s not only going to have extraordinary looks, but it’ll also be a sprawling, atmospheric hacking adventure that’ll draw players in from beginning to end.

https://youtu.be/775aK_5XCsU

In Recompile, players become a humanoid, semi-sentient malicious program known as “The Program” who must embark on a journey through the Mainframe to prevent from being deleted. The Mainframe is an ancient, sprawling, digital landscape, so players can expect to find several, dynamic paths to go through, and the only way to uncover the mysteries of the world in Recompile is to explore everything it has to offer. A player’s playstyle and choices will matter as those who just want to rush and go from point A to point B won’t be able to experience the true nature of the game’s world, so exploration will clearly reap rewards, like abilities.

Players will end up discovering a range of traversal abilities that’ll all prove to be useful along the way in Recompile. There are abilities that all Metroidvania fans know and love like jumping and dashing, but these abilities are well-executed as they actually reminded me of the Neon power from Sucker Punch’s Infamous: Second Son. Just like Second Son, Recompile features more unique abilities like hacking and even a jetpack that makes the game even more enjoyable. The hacking ability is especially unique since all of the obstacles in the game, like its gates and even its enemies, are exploitable, so players can expect have a lot of fun playing around with the ability. Having a tough time solving a puzzle? Just hack the gate that’s in the way. Enemy causing you trouble? Hack them so they’ll follow specifically-given commands. Basically, the level of player freedom is going to be excellent in Recompile.

Along with interesting platforming and puzzle-solving elements, Recompile also has third-person shooter combat that lets players utilize a wide array of powerful weapons to destroy all the strange enemies that get in the way. Since the other elements are so exciting, combat is surprisingly the weakest element in Recompile. However, it is pleasantly quick and works well enough to the point that it doesn’t become a boring necessity. The enemies I took on during my time with the game didn’t prove to be much of a challenge, but perhaps this will change with the game’s full release.

recompile 1

What I hope doesn’t change is Recompile’s look. I love its low-poly, neon art style, and its striking visual effects are definitely nice eye candy, to say the least. Also, the overall feel of the game is heightened thanks to its glitchy, eclectic soundtrack that I think is going to end up sticking in my head for quite a while.

Overall, I’m very excited to get to play even more of Recompile. It’s becoming a fascinating 3D Metroidvania that’s going to have completely eye-catching visuals and thrilling gameplay. We’ll have to wait a little bit for the full release, however, as Recompile is currently set to launch sometime in 2020.


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Brad Crespo

Editor-in-Chief - On a quest to play as many new games as possible while trying to finish an endless backlog.