Il existe d’innombrables jeux construits autour de l’idée de l’apocalypse, sous toutes ses formes. But how many games have been played around the double apocalypse? It’s true, after the apocalypse, mankind is in bad shape, and you have the world to save! Or at least turn on the lights in your dreary little town in the latest Double Fine game for the Nintendo Switch called RAD. Is this post-apocalyptic world as dark as it seems, or is your mutant comfortable in this game?
RAD is a very lively 80’s punk synth whose basic mechanism is a hack and slash game, complemented by unique semi-dynamic skills that change things for the better or for the worse. What of the world was in ruins after Armageddon appeared twice. The city in which you live is confronted with a savage situation and the restoration of electricity cables is of the utmost importance. Who better than a group of teenagers to be recruited for this task! With power and willingness, you are now the last runner to enter the Swallow, the irradiated wasteland outside the walls of your city, where hell can and will break loose. Armed with your trusty bat, you leave the city through a portal and plunge into the first level of the game.
The immersive gameplay here is quite familiar to anyone who has played such games in recent years. You’re in a semi-random environment. You must complete a task of collecting loot before you move on to the next level. Kick a boss’s ass once in a while and add the game of death for the repetition the villains run away from, and you get RAD in a nutshell. How did these elements get there? As you begin to distort the first level and explore the map, you will encounter poisonous irradiated creatures that you will encounter by means of a bat connecting to their face or appendages…. Or something mutant. But be careful, because at the beginning of the game (and more often than I discovered) you’re a super soft teenager, and that means it doesn’t just take a few moves to get you out of the running.
As you continue to explore the level, you will inevitably encounter large pillars which, when pressed, activate and emit a beam of light that indicates a monolithic structure that also serves as a gate to leave the level and enter the next one. This will be your main goal for the progress of the game – find as many turns as you need to unlock the door to enter. However, this should not be a frivolous goal, because in each of these structures lies the battle against the boss. And as I soon learned, these patterns are no joke, and you have to be as prepared as possible, which unfortunately depends on the luck of the good old random number generator (RNG), whose elementary access or mutation (we’ll talk about that in a moment) is at the level you can use.
So that brings us to the mutations, which are a unique aspect of RAD and make the mechanics of the game stand out, albeit in a positive way. As you explore the wasteland, the radiation builds up inside you, and when enough of it gets into the soft counter at the top of the screen, your body mutates with a scribe and a contour. These transformations range from passive possibilities, such as. For example, the ability to run a little faster or do less damage to a certain type, to active skills that are much more fun and useful, such as. B. Home Slice, a small mutant creature strapped to your back that can shoot enemies with a small pistol while walking around. But there’s more! You can throw your mutant boyfriend on the ground, which will turn him into a fixed tower. If you provoke it again, it will explode and grow back on your back within seconds. I loved having a shot at home, especially in boss fights to take the aggression away from me. There are other, more actively controlled remote weapons, such as. B. the Armarang, where one of your weapons mutates and can be thrown back and forth to the enemy. It was also one of my favourite things because it allowed me to keep a little more distance from the harder mini bosses in the level.
The core of the mutation system is the ability to combine them. The more mutations you collect along the way, the more they accumulate on top of each other, often creating interesting combinations for battle. In addition to mutations, you can also acquire or find objects that have similar passive or semi-active possibilities.
What RAD has a bit of trouble with is in this aspect of NGR. Depending on how many kilometres you’ve covered, the first levels will only give you a few passive skills or a combination of mutations that will effectively make you just as overpowered as when you started. If you get into your first boss fight, I guarantee you’ll be as bad as I am. If I had gone through this first level and had not left with a decent active mutation before entering even this first monolithic structure, I knew I was doomed to die because your first health is too weak for me to manage on my own.
Fortunately, death is just a restart. You immediately return to the character selection screen, where you can choose a visually stunning character to play Fallow with. Although they are stylistically different, there will be no changes to the standard abilities of the characters or anything else at the beginning of the game, so just pick the one that looks the most radiant for you!
RAD really follows the movement in this genre, where you get a calculated XP reward with every death and levelling brings you new things. It may just be a new cosmetic-looking killer bat, but there are also new items in the shop, which may be a little confusing to access at the beginning of the game, but once you can buy and use them, they can help you a little more in your shopping.
You jump through the levels and collect two currencies when you kill ferocious creatures or unlock hidden geocaches. If you survive the boss at the end of the level, you can save the first and most used currency. You can then go back to your hometown and put your coins in the safety bank or spend them for your next race. Later on, you can even become a Premium Bank member, which allows you to include certain currencies at certain points in the level for quick purchases from Wasteland merchants. The other currency is rarer and comes in the form of cassettes, but it can be used to unlock safes that are often indispensable, such as medicine bottles or other disposable items.
ARD has all the standards for cheaters, and if something is going on, it plays it safe. However, for me it is very good and it made it easier to connect to the game before the boat trip. The big advantage is that you get the unique and amazing style of Double Fine, both aesthetic and humorous. Anyone familiar with Psychonaut or Costume Quest will feel comfortable with the way ARD is presented. Many nuances pay tribute to the game in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as to many other cultural trophies that have been scattered around the world. Of course it can be frustrating to hear the voice for every action you do or don’t do in the pause menu, but it’s still a slider that can’t be turned off if you want to. In any case, it is not difficult to point out and say that the FDR certainly meets the Double Fine standards.
Although the style and presentation of the game is absolutely correct, I found the performance on the platform less than perfect. I played in portable mode for the first time because that’s my favorite way to play with the switch. However, the reduced performance in this mode made the bright colours of the game so blurred, the resolution was low and often everything became so muddy that it was almost impossible to see anything on the screen. If the game is connected, you don’t have that problem, but even I think the game suffers from semi-frequent image degradation, and I think it can’t keep up with the performance of other platforms at the moment. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was harmful enough to distract me from this system. Like many Rascals I’ve played on the Switch, I think it’s a great console for this kind of games, given the nature of picking up and running another race.
I love ARD. The theme and presentation looks like a beautifully refined Double Fine game, which I expected from their studio with just the right drip of character and love. If cheaters aren’t your thing, I’d still say it’s a decent title to give a chance, even with some balance problems. If gender is your thing, you will find a welcoming familiarity and an ideal environment to enjoy your time. What could be nicer than an evening of bloody appendages growing in an ’80s irradiated wasteland while wearing a mohawk jacket and punk jeans?
Overview of RAD
- Graphs – 8/10
- Sound – 8/10
- Gameplay – 7.5/10
- Late call – 7.5/10
Final thoughts: GOOD PAGE
RAD is a fairly typical villain who will certainly look familiar to fans of the genre. It connects the dots by mutating your character as you progress and exploring the neo-post-apocalyptic desert of the ’80s, giving you a dynamic experience that can be both awesome and often leaves you on the unbalanced side. Double Fine has brought its style and quality here, from everything to the visual identity, humour and general class of the game. On the Switch you have to deal with some annoying performance problems, but fortunately this hasn’t hindered the game in any way.
Alex has been in the gaming industry since Nintendo’s release. He has turned his hobby into a career, has been developing games for just over ten years and is now creative director of the studio.
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