I am a sucker for any games that are set in the future. Give me neon-drenched skies, a black market in cybernetics implants, and huge shiny tower blocks run by shady corporations, and I’m in before I even load up the game. Maybe it’s the feeling of what might happen in the future that is so appealing.
Re.Surs is set in the imagined future and has a lot of what I want from a game. It has also been put together by a single developer, which is always exciting to see.
It works as a mixture of Blade Runner, Half-Life 2 and the X-files; at least it would if I was pressed for a comparison. It’s a 2D side scroller with a big story and a deep exploration element. And frankly, it’s a big game for an indie.
You play the part of Jessie Sullivan. She lives in Modern City and is a paranormal detective. One evening – at the start of the game – you get a call from your boss. There has been an incident in one of the districts. A criminal mastermind who released demons into the area is threatening to destroy the peace in the city. But they also have another sinister motive.
The story is completely engaging and I loved taking in the number of different locations you get to explore; around Modern City and elsewhere in other cities. You also get to play as two other characters on your adventure – Basil B and Helga Hoft; each have different abilities which we will talk about soon. The lore is quite dense and sometimes you might be left wondering what on earth is going on. But Re.Surs kept me engaged. It’s funny as well, with some wisecracks from the characters, especially Jessie, who I really liked.
Gameplay-wise it’s all about the combat, working as the main point of the gameplay. If you get on with this then you are going to have a blast. If you don’t like it… well you are going to struggle. Re.Surs comes with a very old-school dynamic like something we would have been found playing on a PS1. Enemies arrive at you from both sides, sometimes from above, and you have to dodge or use your special shield attack. Some characters – like Jessie – have a dash special move which is very handy. You haven’t got a jump button though, and I personally was left wanting it badly. Instead it means you may just have to rethink how you play.
Attacking, you can switch between the different characters during combat which is very handy, especially when one of the character’s health bars is low. Basically though you’ll be found shooting away at the enemies with some special attacks from each character. There are boss battles to be had too; some of these are rock hard so be careful when choosing your difficulty level. There is also a bit of platforming and a tiny piece of low-level puzzle solving to keep your brain intact.
Visually, Re.Surs is very old school. But using that template it works with a colour scheme brilliantly. The world has been interestedly designed and the levels are gorgeous to explore and be in. The creature design is good too, but it doesn’t feel like anything I haven’t seen before. Accompany those visuals with some beautiful music and it fits perfectly with the Blade Runner type world we find ourselves in. That soundtrack works superbly with the combat sections, giving you the energy to keep fighting and defending for your life.
The story of Re.Surs is deep and spiralling whilst the narrative strikes a good tone, both in its serious moments and the comedic ones. Mostly the gameplay is fun too, but Re.Surs can feel punishing and I would have killed for a jump button. You have to factor in the price too – it is amazing for a game of this depth and size.
That should mean it is worth taking a punt on Re.Surs, especially if you like 2D side-scrolling shooters.