Mar 30, 2012

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rComplex Review

rComplex Review

When rComplex was first released, it came with a myriad of bugs and issues that made it almost unplayable. But thanks to the diligent developers at Interwave Studios who listened to much of the feedback from fans, rComplex stands as a solid autorunning title for  iOS users and the only thing holding it back from being a great title is a few animation issues.

rComplex, on a narrative front, is able to create an interesting and engaging story through well written monologues and great voice acting. The title revolves around the main character being pursued by a giant tentacle monster while dealing with his amnesia. rComplex is able to piece together a coherent story through short cutscenes, which are shown in comic book fashion, and through collecting memory cubes that trigger a past memory. This allows the player to delve into the main character’s back story and the reasons behind his current predicament. Overall, the story is satisfying and it is very clear that the developer took time to craft a unique tale.

Another aspect that was given much attention to was the visual style of the game. rComplex is a fantastic looking game, showcasing dark silhouettes of the main character and the pursuing monster in the foreground and contrasting them with bright reds and blues of the abandoned city in the background. This stark contrast can be best described as hyper-stylized and modern, and is complemented well with sharp text that pop in whenever a memory cube is picked up. The soundtrack also meshes well with the style of the game, blasting synthetic rhythmic beats that blare through your speakers while you’re traversing the chic world.

rComplex, while excelling in both narrative and presentation, suffers from a few bugs that hold it back from being a great title; though it should be noted that the developers have vastly improved the game via the most recent update . The game is structured around collecting memory cubes while avoiding obstacles and a giant monster that is in hot pursuit of your character. rComplex follows most of the conventional rules found in autorunners, but adds a small twist by arming you with a shotgun and a scythe to fend off the monster if it’s getting too close.  The shotgun is used to distance the tentacled beast from you when it gets too close and is controlled by tapping on the left side of the screen. The scythe, on the other hand, allows you to escape the clutches of the creature when it captures you (but breaks right after) and can be used by tapping rapidly when being crushed by the giant tentacles of the monster.

rComplex is controlled by using touch gestures on the iPhone screen that allow you to slide and jump. One of the problems that initially existed before the update was the lack of recognition involving the touch gestures. Many times the game would not recognize that the screen was even touched, leading to unwarranted deaths.  When the game did recognize the touch-based gestures, it was often too late due to a sluggish response by the game. This has since been corrected with the addition of up and down tap controls, greatly alleviating much of the frustration that the game induced.

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The addition of the new control system also helps make obstacles easier to see by allowing your hand to rest at the bottom of the screen rather than swiping on the right side of the screen. Other common-sense updates like moving the location of the pause button and fixing random freezes and other minor bugs have made rComplex a game that can be enjoyed both visually and in its gameplay.

Outside of the already addressed control issues, animation issues still remain and cause some problems when timing a jump. The animation for jumping isn’t as quick as you would assume it would be for an autorunner title. Jumping is nearly impossible to execute due to a slow/dragging animation that has you leaving the ground far after your gesture. While the animation issue remains, the developer has shown that fan feedback is appreciated and has done much to improve the overall experience of the game, which is highly encouraging.

 rComplex, before the developer’s update, was the perfect example of a title that had style but lacked substance. After the update, the game stands as a solid title that excels in its narrative and visual style and can be an enjoyable game to play. While it isn’t perfect, it is definitely an improved experience from its original state and the developer’s response to the feedback by their fans should definitely be noticed. rComplex doesn’t do anything to reinvent the genre of autorunner titles, but the art style and the introduction of a story element definitely sets this game apart from other titles in its genre and as a whole is a very enjoyable experience.

rComplex Revised Score

Platform: iPhone 4 (reviewed), iPhone 4S, iPad, PC, Mac, Android
Genre: Action
Release Date: 3/22/12
Developer: Interwave Studios
Publisher: EVENT Interactive
ESRB Rating: 9+
MSRP: $1.99