After 2020, 2021 was supposed to be a new year. It was going to bring new opportunities and bring back some normalcy to my life. So far, though, here is where I stand on the important topics: I am still stuck inside, it's still cold, I am continuing to work from home, and I went from playing Hades a lot, to another roguelike in Revita.
Most of these stagnancies I’m not very happy about, but my delve into roguelikes has been rather enjoyable. I’d be lying if I said they were a genre I’d explored a lot of up to this point, but I think most people know how good Hades was. Revitas, though, is a newer entry into the genre, so I got to experience it and discover the game without it being spoiled with reviews.
Revitas drops players off at the Memoria Station, where station on the lowest level allows you to hop onto a train to travel to your dungeon crawling adventure. Once you travel to a dungeon, you’re tasked with making your way to the top of each, by clearing a room of enemies and then riding the elevator to the next floor. Each dungeon consists of a varying number of floors, with a break floor roughly halfway through and a dungeon boss at the end of each.
At the end of each run, you’re taken back to the clocktower where you can interact with some interesting NPCs to unlock new artifacts, areas of the clocktower and dungeons, and of course set off on another run. Sounds pretty straightforward right? Honestly, it is, but it’s not this roguelike dungeon crawling that brings most of the appeal for this game. That lies in the gameplay, the artistry, and some of the other smaller components of the game that stand out.
So overall how does the game stack up and play? Let’s take a look at each of the components of the game and see what’s good and what falls short.
Revita brings a very retro feel to the art style but does so in a very smooth way. My initial reaction to some of the screenshots was that I was looking at an update to some old MegaMan games. Diving into the game I was very happy that the screen's movement doesn’t bring any issues with moving backgrounds, and the 8-bit styling doesn’t impact the gameplay.
The only issue that I’ve had with the graphics comes in the choice of some artistic graphics that don’t add any real value. The dungeons have an artistic foreground, which if you’ve seen some of my other articles, you’ll know I love this styling. The problem, though, is that this foreground frequently obscures your view of some of the things you need to be able to see. It was incredibly frustrating to be on the latter floors of the second dungeon only to be killed because of a floor spike that was hidden by a not-so-well-placed pipe.
Overall, these frustrations are few and far between and the graphics fit the game really well. I’d say they definitely come in as a positive.
I mentioned that I initially thought the game harkened back to some old school Megaman with its looks. Well, in the best way possible, the game's sound follows up with that look. You get some really cool digital tracks, with interesting sound effects to the different interactions and actions you take. The audio doesn’t distract from the game and just adds a nice layer of depth. I also found myself letting the game run in the background while I was working so that I could listen to the background music of the clocktower.
Again I did find one thing on the audio side, though, that fell onto the wrong side of the line for me. Video games in general tend to have semi-repetitive music—they have to. Different players will take different amounts of time to get through a level. While the music handles this repetition well, the sound of the shooting gun just didn’t. Being a twin-stick shooter, and your character having no limit to ammo, there’s really no reason to ever stop shooting from a gameplay perspective. As a matter of fact it’s a good strategy to never stop shooting. Except for the noise. The never ending pew pew of the gun did start to wear on me if I played for too long at once.
To be fair, I will emphasize that I really only noticed this annoyance when I played for an extended duration. Luckily being a roguelike, you can make three or four runs and not have to worry about this at all. So once again I think the audio comes through as a positive.
That brings us to the biggest factor in my opinion. The gameplay. There are several components of the gameplay that we need to talk about. The first is the actual running of the dungeons. As you should in a roguelike shooter, you feel a little underpowered at first with your weapon feeling a little slow, but nothing about it feels out of place. As you progress and pick up powerups, the game escalates risks in line to make sure you’re still being challenged, which is great.
From a controls perspective, the game is incredibly smooth. The dash is really easy to control your distance on, and there’s a few fun additional control interactions, like sliding on ice in the third dungeon.
Last up are the elements that make the game a roguelike. The artifacts, unlocks, and how you go about obtaining them. I’ll start off by saying that I really enjoyed the method by which you unlock new artifacts to obtain. Enemies can randomly drop a prisoner key, which you can take to an NPC and unlock a new artifact, making it purchasable so that it can randomly show up in your dungeon runs.
There are a few components here though that didn’t live up to what I’d hoped for. The first was relatively minor, being the hitboxes. Several times I found myself having bullets graze by me and not do any damage, but then a different projectile would seemingly hit the same area and damage me. I’m guessing this has as much to do with my ineptitude at the game as anything else, but it was puzzling.
The tougher issue for me though was the difficulty in getting artifacts, and how punishing the game felt. Every time I unlocked an artifact I was excited to get the chance to pick it up in a future run. The issue I repeatedly had was that a lot of the artifact unlocks are directly related to you trading health for power, and you don’t have a lot of health. I really like this conceptually, but I found that as early as the first dungeon, if I took a hit somewhere early on, I wasn’t going to be able to pick up most of the artifacts available to me. That was frustrating. It does, though, make sure that the game never loses its challenging appeal, which kept me coming back for more.
The only thing I’ll say here, is that throughout some of the train stations and clocktower you can find cats and pet them. A+
The game has a lot of potential and I'm excited for the full version of the game to come out. I think the planning elements will add a layer of depth to what artifacts you decide to choose, and will only add in more artifacts to toy with. I’m basing my review on the current early release that I’ve been playing right now though. I think this game is definitely fun, but it falls into that realm of a game that I can't fully put my recommendation behind in good faith, as I'm not finding myself super excited about the game and I'll likely be tucking this one back into the Steam library and not opening it again for a while.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Hey, my name is Jon, i'm a bit of a jack of all trades/master of none and that reflects in my choice of games. I'll play anything that catches my eye, although I burnt myself out on the MMO side with Runescape and RFOnline growing up, so you're less likely to find me there.
Outside of games, I love music and making things, getting outside with my Husky Rowdy, am getting married this winter, and spend more time than I care to admit watching cooking shows on Youtube and Netflix.View Profile