Mission Crtl Studio’s WRITHE is a simplistic, easy old-school FPS that sees gamers tackle hordes of large Sago worms who’ve descended upon Bangkok within the wake of an evil meals company’s greed-fueled experiments. Strapping in your P.H.U.L.A. life-support armour and grabbing your plasma launcher and phosphorus shotgun, you may drop into one in all three tiny little arenas and shoot, run, bounce and conceal with a purpose to survive for so long as doable – which will not be very lengthy in any respect, judging by our experiences with the sport’s tough-as-nails and somewhat scrappy model of fight.
WRITHE comes from an indie studio comprised of simply two individuals – a husband and spouse workforce right here engaged on their very first sport – and, in some ways, the small scale of the manufacturing exhibits by way of. This can be a very fundamental horde survival shooter with simply three small ranges to cost round (there are two extra incoming as DLC over the following few months, alongside much-needed gyro help) and that includes extraordinarily simplistic gunplay in its single gameplay mode.
You have obtained two weapons welded to your palms, there are simply three fundamental sorts of enemy worm to face off towards, whereas issues like environmental hazards, weapon unlocks and so forth merely do not exist. You can, nonetheless, power-up your weapons by amassing gems dropped by lifeless enemies – now we have to say we truthfully did not discover that doing this made any discernible distinction to our gun’s efficiency – and gather well being goo by blasting open worm eggs earlier than they hatch with a purpose to top-up your tiny little life-bar and survive for a few seconds longer.
Actually, the supremely easy nature of the capturing motion right here, mixed with the sport’s appealingly chunky old-school artwork type, a good soundtrack and fiendish issue might have been a implausible combine; a riotously pure arcade expertise with the potential to essentially sink its hooks into you as you strive (and sometimes fail) to higher your survival occasions and transfer additional up the net leaderboards. Nevertheless, the extraordinarily simplistic AI right here manages to let the entire thing down fairly badly. Worm enemies in WRITHE are programmed to swarm the participant rapidly and immediately – which, let’s face it, might be what large killer Sago worms would do in actual life – however right here it makes for a irritating and scrappy expertise that lacks any actual steadiness and by no means finds that candy addictive spot which genuinely good examples of the style all the time have.
There are three various kinds of worm to cope with right here, however in observe, your complete Sago horde swarms you so rapidly and in such a messy, haphazard means that it is most frequently a wrestle to seek out your bearings or consider something aside from working the hell away. The sport’s exploding worms are extraordinarily infuriating, usually going off earlier than you actually even know they’re there and taking most of your life-bar with them, whereas armoured bullhead enemies ram you brutally and repetitively (and sometimes in pairs), locking you right into a nook or attacking from behind, immediately ending your run.
The truth that you might be so relentlessly hunted from all angles and fully swamped by Sago worms so rapidly each time is one factor – it could even enchantment to some correctly hardcore shooter followers – however fairly one other is the very fact the enemies right here can seemingly transfer quicker than you, all the time catching you while you flip to fireplace off a volley of photographs, and have a actually annoying tendency to only seem out of skinny air behind your avatar, reducing off escape routes and leaving you zero probability to outlive or alternative to make use of talent to tug by way of.
It actually does find yourself feeling as if the one possibility is to principally neglect about capturing and simply leg it across the tiny ranges for so long as you possibly can earlier than being overcome, and it results in you feeling like a cowardly sufferer greater than some killer area marine or precise protagonist. It is repetitive and it is irritating as a result of it seems like with only a few little tweaks right here and there – gradual the mass of enemies down barely, give gamers a wider subject of view with a purpose to see the place they’re being attacked from and make issues simply really feel much less scrappy total – this might have been a very enjoyable and addictive little funds blast.
Away from the core gameplay itself, there is a quirky little Museum of Unnatural Historical past the place you possibly can go wander round between sorties and study concerning the enemies you face off towards, take a look at the weapons and tools at your disposal and have a handful of oddball conversations – this sport positively has a way of humour – and background lore explaining extra concerning the occasions that led to WRITHE’s worm invasion may be unlocked as you proceed to gather gems from lifeless foes, supplying you with one thing to work in direction of as you die, die and die once more.
There are additionally a handful of various filters to change between as you play with a purpose to change the aesthetic up a bit and the sport may be performed in each efficiency and high quality modes, supplying you with the choice to downgrade the visuals barely with a purpose to run and gun at 60fps or decrease blur and play at 30fps.
Even with simply three maps and one easy mode to get caught into, WRITHE might have been a straightforward suggestion if there was extra give attention to making your face-offs with the sport’s worm enemies extra balanced. It is so frustratingly near being an addictive and enjoyable expertise and Mission Ctrl Studios have positively obtained loads proper right here close to the look and elegance of the factor. Nevertheless, as issues stand proper now, this one seems like a missed alternative that nails its artwork type, has a cool setting and refreshingly easy premise however screws the touchdown with fight that feels scrappy, unfairly punishing, repetitive and irritating because of the simplistic nature of its enemy AI.
WRITHE is a tiny little funds blaster that nails its old-school aesthetic, is refreshingly easy in what it makes an attempt to attain and has a genuinely enjoyable sci-fi setup. Nevertheless, scrappy enemy AI that feels badly judged and, most of the time, simply straight-up unfair holds the entire thing again, leading to a shooter that lacks steadiness and by no means manages to seek out itself within the addictive groove it must with a purpose to encourage gamers to stay with its fiendishly troublesome fight.