#860 Rez HD

Posted: 18th July 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , , , ,

441st played so far


Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up/Music
Platform: XB0x 360
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: United Game Artists/Q Entertainment
Publisher: Sega

Rez is a rail shooter set in a computer, your enemy an AI that has gone crazy because of information overload. You need to hack it, by going inside and playing a rail shooter. Yeah, that’s really today’s story.

Oh, and we’re playing the better-looking version – the HD is specified by the list.

Our Thoughts

The game looks pretty surreal from the start. Set in a faux-hacker setting, diving in deeper, while you have an avatar, is still clear based on the Tron legacy. There’s lasers and colourful flashes and it’s all intentionally surreal. Weirder yet is your character. Extra lifes are rare, only being gotten by gathering several upgrade items. When you do, not only do you gain a life, you also change shapes – evolving as you continue. We were not good enough to really get upgrades, but they are nice touches.

As a rail shooter, Rez feels good at what it does. Enemies appear on every side as you’re floating through the void. Unfortunately hit boxes and directions of fire aren’t always well specified, making it difficult to find out that suddenly a boss is behind you. At other times it can be quite difficult to discern when an enemy can be shot and where, making for some futile attempts of concentrated, useless fire.

One of the more interesting choices is when to end a level. While there is an end point on the level, you can miss it and go by it, floating around a while longer until it comes around again. Partially this makes it a challenge to reach the exit – you have to shoot some specific items before you can lasso yourself in – but it also allows you to kill more enemies while at a slower pace to collect your upgrades so you’re more prepared for what’s next. It feels like an interesting trade-off.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I feel like rail shooters just aren’t interesting enough to keep our attention for too long. The game looks fine, especially with the updated release, creating a trippy landscape that feels uniform but also allows for somehow acceptable canals with ships in them that can form below you. But while the aesthetic parts are amazing, fitting the game well, they don’t necessarily connect with us.