[PlayStation 5] Recompile Review
Recompile from Phigames and Dear Villagers is a Metroidvania-inspired game with hacking aspects on PS5. Find out what it’s like in our Recompile review!
Recompile from Phigames and Dear Villagers is a Metroidvania-inspired game with hacking aspects on PlayStation 5. As you start playing, you’ll slowly learn that you are a semi-sentient program inside the Mainframe. The problem is that the program aims at deleting anything that’s not part of it. As you try to find your way inside of it, you’ll find logs that will tell you a bit more about what happened and the people that conceived the program and the AI system. Apart from those occasional pieces of information, the story aspects mostly come through your objectives that change as you progress.
The game is played from a third-person perspective. You move around with the left analog stick and look around with the right one. At first, those are the only things you’re able to do until you find some code that will allow you to upgrade yourself. You’ll then gain the ability to jump with the X button. Once you find yourself a weapon, you’ll be able to use it by aiming with the L2 button and then fire with the R2 button. When aiming, the camera will shift to a closer position to your character, which, unfortunately, often changes the viewing angle and makes shooting quite difficult.
You’ll also eventually gain access to the Recompile mode. This mode allows you to pause the action and navigate around your surroundings. With this, you’ll be able to inspect things like objects or enemies so that you can find out their current health or eventually hack them so that you can avoid fighting them. You’ll also be able to inspect things like logic gates to manipulate them as you solve some puzzles. In the same menu as this mode, you’ll also be able to explore the map and see your upgrades, which are separated into three categories: Traversal, Deletion (combat), and Hacking.
Visually, there’s both some good and some bad news about Recompile. Starting with the good, the whole “you’re inside a computer program” thing is great to see. As you navigate around each area, you’ll see distant places that seem blurred or out of place until you get closer to them, and they slowly reassemble, which makes for a very cool visual effect. Your character also looks very cool, composed of small blocks that form a shape similar to a person.
Then there are the bad parts. First, the camera angles make things incredibly difficult to follow, especially when it changes perspective when you aim with your gun. Then there is the lighting in the game or the general absence of it. When you move, you can barely see what’s in front of your character, so trying to figure out which way to go in a platforming section becomes something incredibly difficult and frustrating. And if you couple this with annoying platforms that are shaped like a cylinder, where it’s never too clear how you can stand on it without falling, moving around becomes more tedious than enjoyable.
When I first started the game, I liked what I saw, and even though there wasn’t a deep story to follow, the game’s aesthetics looked interesting enough for me to dive in. Then the issues started to pop up. After that, I ran into some enemies, while I still didn’t have a gun, and found out that even if I got in a totally different part of the map, the enemies’ eye of sight reached me, so I ended up receiving some shots that I was certainly not expecting. Once I finally got a gun to defend myself, the fights also added to the list of annoying things for the reasons I mentioned before.
As for the trophies, the list is a rather simple one to get through. Upgrading all your abilities, restoring the four different Biomes you’ll explore in the game, and collecting all the memories will net you the majority of the trophies. There are also a few trophies related to different endings you can achieve, giving some replay value to Recompile, but the saddest part is that all those playthroughs will not reward you with a platinum trophy, as the game does not have one!
From the early screens and impressions, Recompile looked like a very promising game. Unfortunately, the end-product does not reflect what these initial comments and trailers presented. Recompile is out on PlayStation 5 with a $24.99 price.
This Recompile review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Dear Villagers.