IHRB is a love note to vertical and backwards running shooters whilst trying to maintain its zest by providing procedurally generated levels. The result is a fully destructible level that lacks character and feels more like a mod build. The difficulty in IHRB can spike completely at random, but thank God for some good old fashioned checkpoints right? Nope!
Check (Point) Please!
IHRB boots players’ straight back to the start of level one no matter how far they have come. Yes, that means completed levels don’t save progress either. This writer understands that this how the majority of games used to work back in the late 80’s / early 90’s. But it’s 2018; the challenge is a bold one and quite rewarding when players find themselves on a winning streak. But the party gets old fast and does limit what the player can experience to an extent.
Players can pick from a variety of crudely named characters to run backwards with, each one of these characters has a main weapon, secondary weapon, special attack and a melee attack. Main and secondary attacks can be switched on the fly which can come in handy dependant on enemy range. Special attacks are built up to full power with Mojo, a collectible found in expired enemies and destroyed pieces of environment. One would recommend such an attack for when players are in a really tight spot. And finally Melee attacks are handy for breaking obstacles and bouncing back rockets for free damage!
I’ve lost my Mojo Baby!
The problem with IHRB’s range of characters is that they all pretty much play the same. During this reviewer’s play through, one didn’t notice any speed differences or other statistical gains. However, when players collect enough Mojo to fill their experience meters, a perk may be utilized to bring the pain train. Oh, and stay away from the Ware bulls. Thank this reviewer later!
The gameplay overall is a tight one and does exactly what it says on the tin mostly, this writer would 100% recommend inviting a fellow human with their own PS4 pad (or your bobbins 3rd party one, golden rule!) and co op this bad boy. Only then can players really get the most run out of IHRB in this reviewers opinion.
One will just address the elephant in the room and state that IHRB has the same aesthetic as ‘Minecraft’ with a bit more polish and bendable arms. This procedurally generated block o thon is a cell shaded affair that works quite well when levels get chaotic, players won’t have any problems picking their protagonist out from a group thanks to the design team.
The Soundtrack is an over the top electro effort that always kicks off with some sort of sonic boom. It’s not irritating but players will be aware of the amount of repeated tracks. SFX are jam packed with exaggerated blasts and screams with a dash of panic, just what a title such as IHRBneeds.
Graphics and Presentation: 3.5
Overall Score: 3.2/5
‘I Hate Running Backwards’ tries its best to be a ballsy shooter with its Serious Sam attitude however falls short when it comes to versatile gameplay. Even when booting up a little couch co-op, players will still lose interest when they have cleared 5 levels and got booted back to the beginning of the game. Although armed beautiful presentation and a tonne of weapons variety, it’s a shame that the rogue like character development didn’t pack a punch.
Formats: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, and Steam
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Binx Interactive
Release Date: 22/05/2018
Age Rating: PEGI 7+
Review copy provided by publisher