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Destruction With A Side Of Chaos: Rack N Ruin Review

Rack N Ruin is a top-down action adventure game full of destruction, puzzles, and sarcasm. Rack, the main character, is a demonic wizard who has a sweet tooth for anything destructive and chaotic. Some of his witty, snide comments won’t leave you in tears, but it will definitely make you chuckle. Rack N Ruin was developed by Life Spark Entertainment and the awesome hand painted artwork seen in the game was done by Tyler Hunter, a former Blizzard artist.

Planets that once blanketed the galaxy are now nothing more than asteroids and dust. Lord Ruin, Rack’s master, is loathe of Rack’s inability to create homes for demon spawning, but is willing to give him one last chance to prove himself capable of doing his master’s biding. There is a perfect planet that Ruin wants to claim, so Rack is teleported to the other side of the galaxy to prove his worth.

I was never really a big fan of top-down games and I never played any of the games like Diablo 3 or World of Warcraft that Hunter worked on. I was always much more into playing first-person shooters like Halo or Call of Duty, and some classic Final Fantasy every now and then. After playing a little bit of Rack N Ruin, I knew I was instantly hooked. Between how well it played, the smoothness of the combat, and the strong technical performance, I’ve had to painfully divide up my time between this and Bloodborne.

I think the reason Rack N Ruin feels great to play is that it’s classic fun. There’s no real stress behind playing this game compared to games like Bloodborne or other Souls titles, where you’re constantly trying extremely hard to think of ways to kill a boss and what their weakness is and Rack and Ruin just doesnt demand that kind of approach to it. This is just one of those games where you can sit back on a couch and casually play your game and unwind after a stressful day. It’s more of a plug and play kind of game whereas Bloodborne demands more time, more thought and more strategy, on top of a lot more commitment than Rack n’ Ruin, due to the frequent deaths and trips to the load screen.

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Screenshot of the chaos and mayhem that awaits!

This game has a very Legend of Zelda look to it. Combat can be repetitive, where your character really only has one move with the weapon that he carries. Blocking is really important later on when the enemies increase in number but your MP (which gets used up when you use some attacks and block) can go out really fast if you don’t keep an eye on it and use it all the time. It’s important to learn when its necessary to use it and when it’s alright to take a few hits. Health potions are pretty scarce too, especially in the start, so it’s vital that you use those sparingly.

Most games alway portray the main character as a hero, someone who saves beautiful women and rescues kittens from trees. Not this game. Rack N Ruin makes being heroic seem boring and overrated, while making being the evil guy that runs around causing destruction so much more appealing. Who wouldn’t want to go around and destroy things every once in a while? Causing destruction is amazingly fun and can be a big stress reliever. How cathartic is it to kill a benevolent dragon god after a tough day at work? The answer: very.

I’m not saying that this game doesn’t have frustrating aspects, like when you run out of health vials during a boss battle or when you can’t seem to access your inventory while in the dungeons. This game definitely offers a challenging aspect, but the challenge it presented really hooked me because it wasn’t like your normal hack n’ slash game. There was actually a decent amount of strategy behind the gameplay and that kept me constantly coming back for more.

Personally, I like a game that challenges your mind as well as your reflexes and Rack N Ruin does it quite well. Sometimes the game would put you in a situation where you have a decent number of enemies and a few boxes that will cause quite the bang. You have the option of either running in there and killing them all by hand or you can toss in a bomb and blow them all sky high. It’s choices like this that really give the gamer a feeling of control over given situations and gets them thinking strategically.

Overall, Rack N Ruin is a fun game to pick up and play. If you’re a fan of the Diablo or World of Warcraft games or even Zelda, I highly recommend this. Throwing fire balls and bombs and slashing things with your batwing-like sword, this game has just the right amount of excitement, suspense, hilarity, action and adventure that everyone expects from a top down game. Rack N Ruin makes sure to never disappoint and always has you coming back for more.

This review is based on a retail copy of Rack N Ruin, developed by Lifespark Entertainment for the Playstation 4.

8.5
A deep, intense shooter with Zelda-esque adventure awaits


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