Last year’s Playstation Experience showcased many interesting titles including The Modern Taxi Co,1000ft Robot Golf, and Rez Infinite, but one of the games that caught my eye the most was Brut@l. An ASCII themed rogue-like, it seemed like it could give the genre the kick in the pants it needed after some stagnation. I eagerly awaited it’s arrival, and now that it’s finally here, does it live up to my expectations, or do it’s mechanics and gameplay fail to compute?
For most 2D roguelikes, the most important aspects are simple but addicting combat and properly designed platforming. However, with Brut@l being a 3D game, this makes everything a lot more ambitious. Because of this, the game’s difficulty curve has been strengthened and elongated to avoid any confusion. And with permadeath being added to the experience, this is greatly needed.
In some roguelikes, collecting items only yield a secret level or powerup, but Brut@l takes this up to another level. This may annoy some who aren’t the highest completionists, but they’ll find soon enough that the journey is worth it. Thankfully, the game also adds variety to what you’re receiving so this feature doesn’t feel cheap or repetitive.
Story & Design:
Brut@l’s story is a bit more broad, but there isn’t enough exposition or hooks given to make the final goal seem worth it, as it’s so hard to get to. Fortunately, the randomly generated design doesn’t create scenarios we’re you’ll call B.S., and when you do die (which happens a lot) you won’t necessarily be blaming the game.
Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:
Brut@l’s presentation is nothing but captivating, although this wears off a little bit after the first couple of hours. However, the more dedicated players will find how useful the color mechanics are to the gameplay, which is a nice touch.
Brut@l also contains a cooperative mode and a level editor, and while they won’t set the world on fire, it does feel like an addition that propels the game to a higher value. Sometimes, if I got tired or exhausted, I would switch to playing with a friend or making a stage. This makes Brut@l never truly feel old.
In terms of a rogue-like, Brut@l’s flaws are sparse and minor. The game doesn’t necessarily innovate, but expands some ideas I loved from my favorites in the genre. This gives Brut@l a sense of familiarity, but that does anything but hinder it.
Brut@l gets a 8/10 (Very Good)
We’d like to thank StormCloud Games for giving us a code!
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