“Get ’em, puppy.” That was exactly the go ahead I was waiting for. After hearing the command from the voice inside my head, I was ready to kill. I dashed forward at one the incoming gang members. It was almost as time slowed as I cracked their skull with a metal rod and stole their shotgun. I then used their own weapons against them, as I quickly wiped out two other helpless ruffians with a few well timed blasts from the gun I was carrying.
The room was wiped out in a matter of seconds, but the adrenaline rush that accompanied the carnage lasted much longer. The violence that defines Ruiner is brutal. The pulsing soundtrack is abruptly interrupted with loud thuds of hollow pipes meeting foreheads, and sometimes even the sound of skin melting at the hands of a flamethrower. It’s this barbaric action that I find more satisfying than I’d like to admit.
Every battle brought something new out of me, and after I had spilled enough blood I had a vast array of abilities at my disposal. These bloodbaths were the only way I had to really express myself, as my path was set for the most part. Sure, I occasionally would shrug or nod when talked to, but it never really mattered. But during these moments of combat? That was the real me. I was the one deciding to turn energy into a shield that could deflect bullets, and it was me that used that same energy to heal myself after a battle was tougher than expected.
Despite essentially being a killing machine, I found myself on the wrong side of that equation plenty of times. Ruiner is an extremely tough game, and one unfortunately timed slip-up was enough to make me see my life. at least what I could remember of it, flash before my eyes. Thankfully, while the challenges I faced were difficult, I never found myself fighting through the same areas as after I cleared an encounter it was done for good. Every battle cleared was a step towards my ultimate goal, of finding Brother. Nothing was ever meaningless, and that’s why I always found it in me to retry a battle rather than walk away. Well, at least that’s what I’d like to believe, but it’s more likely that the thirst for more violence drove me to continue.
There were times that I’d have to contain myself, though. In between levels, I found myself exploring a city filled with street punks, women of the night, and every other cliché one would expect from a cyberpunk city. It was great getting to see other sides of the world, as I spent so much of it in the underworld dealing with the worst creatures that the city had to offer, but there still wasn’t all that much to do in-between missions. That was too bad as there’s so much information about the world tucked inside the Ruiner‘s menus that never gets to really manifest in a more organic way.
My moments inside the city were merely pitstops. After I had secured whatever information I needed, I was ready to hop on my bike and go wherever Her, the alluring voice that directed my movement, told me to go. After all, while Ruiner might have a great style to how it presents its world, the real allure is the combat. I was destructive force, one that doesn’t have a real place in society.
While the violence never failed to entertain, certain kills were more memorable than the rest. I often found myself going against other mass-murderers and hired hands that forced me to be on edge more than usual. These battles often tested abilities beyond my reflexes, such as when I had to trick the Trafficking into traps to disable a force-field that was protecting him. A few of these faces grew a bit too familiar, as I grew tired of facing off against the same Mother machines near the end of my journey.
Ultimately, I never had much of a choice in Ruiner. I was simply a tool that awaited command, one that only could express myself during combat. I killed because I was told to do so, but even if I had free reign I doubt I would’ve ever had disobeyed. After all, sometimes it’s too much fun to be used.
Ruiner review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on PlayStation 4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.