[PAX EAST] Hands On With Recompile

Written by Derek Wright

Introducing: Recompile Preview

What does it truly mean to be an intruder? Is an intruder something that doesn’t belong? Something that is so foreign to a genetic makeup that its very existence jeopardizes life itself? To a computer, a virus is just that, an intruder that has the capability to destroy everything. In Recompile from Phigames and Dear Villagers, you are The Program, and you must enter the mainframe. While not necessarily a virus, it is your job to take control of the mainframe while dealing with the hostile system.

Initializing Program

From that description, it’s quite possible you are the anti-virus programmed to clean up the system, or you are simply made to declutter the system and remove inconsistencies. Either way, in Recompile, a vast digital world is set in front of you, the player, and it needs to be navigated by any means possible. In the demo build I experienced at PAX East, I was first led through a basic tutorial to get my bearings with the movement.

It reminded me of the Halo: Combat Evolved, because you have to first get acquainted with the camera, and then your movement. It felt like an odd throwback, but I also get the story reasons behind it. You are the program and you are booting up. Not all your processes are fully activated. This bit of implied story telling is unique and adds to the overall atmosphere.

System Reboot

When I was told that Recompile is a 3D Metroidvania, I was a bit worried at first, as these types of games haven’t had the best transition to 3D. Metroid Prime Trilogy is the exception, not the rule. Metroidvanias need to have a world that is fun to explore and backtrack through, and that often doesn’t translate well to a 3D space.

From my brief time with Recompile, I am more confident that Phigames has a great understanding of what a 3D Metroidvania needs to be. Firstly, the main character moves very fluidly across the twisted world of the mainframe, which had a great sense of verticality to it. The mainframe was cold, grey and robotic, with flashes of light here and there when the environment was forced to change. It was a nice touch, making the world seem as if it is in standby mode until the program forced a change.

While I did not see combat firsthand, as it was not in the build I played, I was able to fully test out the character’s versatility of movement. I was being chased by three floating orbs that consistently assaulted me. My double jumps and air dashes did the trick though, as I was able to outmaneuver them. The combat, which was seen in a different demo, showed off some interesting gunplay. Think Gears of War: third person, over the shoulder combat.

Unable to Connect to Server

Another aspect of Recompile that seemed paramount to the gameplay was puzzle solving. The puzzles I encountered early on involved hitting various switches to give power to the surrounding areas. This was simple enough as you could follow the wires or lines that have the electricity pulsing through them. It was a straightforward way of guiding the players without necessarily holding their hands.

While Recompile is still in its early stages and isn’t 100% confirmed for the Nintendo Switch yet, the development team is aiming for release on all consoles in the future. So, this is a title to eventually keep a lookout for on the Nintendo Switch.

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