There are countless games built around the idea of the apocalypse, in all its forms. But how many games have been played around the double apocalypse? It’s true, after the apocalypse, humanity is in bad shape, and you have the world to save! Or at least turn on the lights in your dreary 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 80s punk synth whose basic mechanics are a hack and slash game, augmented by unique semi-dynamic abilities that change things for the better or worse. What was left of the world in ruins after Armageddon appeared twice. The city you live in is facing a raging situation and the repair of power lines is of 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 beyond the walls of your city, where all hell can and will break loose. Armed with your trusty bat, you leave the game through a portal and plunge into the first level of the game.
The immersive gameplay here is pretty familiar to anyone who has played such games in recent years. You’re in a semi-random environment. You must complete a task while collecting loot before moving on to the next level. Kick the ass of a boss now and then and add the game of death for repetition that the thugs run away from, and you get RAD in a nutshell. How did these elements get there? As you begin to warp through the first level and explore the map, you will encounter poisonous irradiated creatures that you will interact with through a bat that connects to their face or appendages…. Or something mutant. But be careful, because in the beginning of the game (and more often than I found out) you’re a super-soft teenager, and that means it doesn’t take just a few moves to get you out of the running.
As you continue to explore the level, you will inevitably encounter large pillars that, when pressed, activate and emit a beam of light that indicates a monolithic structure that also serves as a gateway to exit the level and enter the next. This will be your main goal for the progression of the game – find as many turns as you need to unlock the door to get in. However, this should not be a frivolous goal, for in each of these structures lies the struggle against the boss. And as I quickly learned, these patterns are no joke, and you need 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 a bit, albeit in a positive way. As you explore the wasteland, radiation builds up inside you, and when enough of it enters the soft counter at the top of the screen, your body mutates with a scribe and a contour. These transformations range from passive capabilities, 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 at enemies with a small pistol as you walk around. But there is more! You can throw your mutant boyfriend on the ground, which will turn him into a solid tower. If you provoke it again, it will explode and grow back on you 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 at the enemy. It was also one of my favorite things, as it allowed me to keep a little more distance from the tougher 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 stack up, often creating interesting combinations for battle. In addition to mutations, you can also acquire or find objects that have similar passive or semi-active capabilities.
Where RAD has a little trouble is in this aspect of NGR. Depending on your mileage, the first levels only give you a few passive skills or a combination of mutations that effectively make you as overpowered as when you started. When you get into your first boss fight, I guarantee you’ll be as bad as me. If I had gone through this first level and not left with a decent active mutation before I even got into this first monolithic structure, I knew I was doomed to die because your first health is too weak for me to make it 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. While they are stylistically different, there will be no changes to the characters’ default abilities or anything else at the beginning of the game, so just pick the one that looks the most radiant to you!
RAD really follows the movement in this genre, where you get a calculated XP reward with each death and leveling up brings you new things. It may just be a new cosmetic looking killer bat, but there are also new items in the store, which may be a little confusing to access at the beginning of the game, but once you can buy and use them, they may help you a little more in your shopping.
You cross levels and collect two currencies as you kill wasteland animals 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 return to your hometown and put your coins in the security bank or spend them for your next race. Later, you can even become a premium member of the bank, which allows you to withdraw certain currencies at certain points in the level for quick purchases from desert 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 anything, it plays it a little safe. For me though, it’s very good and it made it easier to connect to the game for the boat ride. The big advantage is that you get Double Fine’s unique and amazing style, both aesthetically and humorously. Anyone familiar with Psychonaut or Costume Quest will be comfortable with the way ARD is presented. Many nuances pay tribute to the game in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as many other cultural trophies scattered around the world. Sure, 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’s not hard to point out and say that FDR is definitely up to Double Fine standards.
While the style and presentation of the game is absolutely correct, I found the performance on the platform to be less than perfect. I first played in portable mode because that’s my favorite way to play with the switch. However, the reduced performance in this mode made the game’s bright colors so blurry, 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 find that the game suffers from semi-frequent image dropouts, and I don’t think it can keep up with the performance of other platforms right now. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it 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 these types of games, given the nature of picking up and running another race.
I like ARD. The theme and presentation looks like a beautifully refined Double Fine game, which I expected to come out of their studio with just the right infusion of character and love. If cheats aren’t your thing, I’d still say it’s a decent title to give a chance, even with some balance issues. If sex is your thing, you’ll find a welcoming familiarity and an ideal environment to enjoy your time. What could be better than an evening of growing bloody appendages in an 80s irradiated wasteland while wearing a mohawk jacket and punk jeans?
Overview of RAD
- Charts – 8/10
- Sound – 8/10
- Gameplay – 7.5/10
- Late Complaint – 7.5/10
Final thoughts : GOOD PAGE
RAD is a fairly typical villain that will certainly look familiar to fans of the genre. It connects the dots by having your character mutate as you progress and explore the neo-post-apocalyptic desert of the 1980s, giving you a dynamic experience that can be both awe-inspiring and often leaves you on the unbalanced side. Double Fine has brought its style and quality here, from everything to the visual identity, the humor, and the overall class of the game. On the Switch, you’ll have to deal with some annoying performance issues, but thankfully this hasn’t hindered the game in any way.
Alex has been in the game industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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