Planet Descent

Community => Mess Hall => Topic started by: Ronin RedFox on February 07, 2013, 01:07:59 PM

Title: Ronin Reviews: Retrovirus
Post by: Ronin RedFox on February 07, 2013, 01:07:59 PM
Heya everyone. Today I will be reviewing Retrovirus. If I remember, a while back you all were talking about this.  :) As I have not finished it yet, I shall continue to review it as I play, but for now I'll give my first impressions and what I know about the game thus far!


About the Game:
Retrovirus is a six degrees of freedom shooter which sends players into the depths of a computer on a search and destroy mission against an invasive virus. Retrovirus is being created by Cadenza Interactive, the indie studio behind the popular tower defense game Sol Survivor.

Players take command of an antivirus program, armed with the tools necessary to erase the virus’ very existence from the system. Movement and exploration are core to the gameplay, and players are encouraged to adapt to the demands of a world where free flight is the norm. Of course, the virus is armed to fight back, and first person shooter combat features heavily as players test their level of comfort with movement within the machine environment. Each player is able to customize their antivirus program with different plugins, allowing for a variety of approaches to a given situation.

The Retrovirus single player campaign focuses on the core story of the game, with the player’s goal being the eradication of the virus and the discovery of its origins. To defeat the virus, the player must solve puzzles, engage in dogfight-style combat, and explore the depths of the virtual world.

Retrovirus also features multi-player modes, designed to engage players’ social and competitive sides. Co-operative multi-player allows players to complete the campaign of the game with a friend, teaming up to restore the system to working order. Competitive multi-player will focus on the core of the six degrees of freedom shooter, hearkening back to the action-oriented shooters of the late 90’s and early 00’s.

Like Minerwars, This is an attempt to revive the 6DoF genre of games, and it does it very well. It captures the Descent feeling very well, but how well does it actually stand up to the Descent games?

I'll start with Graphics first, as this is what you'll be seeing right when you start up the game. (The menu is an in-game rendered menu.)

Reccommended Requirements:
OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
Processor: 2.0 GHz dual-core CPU
Memory: 2GB
Hard Disk Space: 1.5 GB free space
Graphics: VNVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, AMD Radeon HD 2900, or higher
Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c

My (Graphic Relevant) System Specs:
Processor: Intel Core i7-2760QM CPU @ 2.40GHz
Memory: 8GB
Graphics: Nvidia Quadro 3000M

The graphics in Retrovirus are very pretty, although, require a lot of power, I'm surprised they recommend the specs that they do, as they would simply choke on rendering everything in-game. My system chokes a lot when playing, even. On low settings (FXAA off, Low Lighting effects), I get a steady 30FPS on the menu (VSync off), that's with a small room, low amount of lighting and effects and zero action. On high, I get about a steady 26FPS. If you ask me, the graphics need to be optimized, but that could just be my setup, as I have sort of an odd video card.

Here's the menu on high settings:

Now the User Interface. The user interface is very basic, It could use a lot of work in the options menu, as there are no advanced graphical settings, or presets, which is something most modern games include these days.


Setting up controls is really easy, and you can bind multiple keys to a certain action, I do not take advantage of this, though.


Now onto the fun stuff! The game itself!

First Impressions:
Retrovirus is a lot like Descent, It has a lot of close quarters combat. Not quite the same feeling as you're not playing in mines, but rather in more industrial computer type areas that feature both tunnels and tubes. There are some cave sorts of places to perhaps clone the classic descent feeling, but I'm finding you'll mostly be in these more industrial areas for a good portion of the game.


And while I'm on that subject of the portion of the game, Retrovirus has a whopping 41 levels that reward exploration rather than rushing, and they all have a decent length to each one of them. The campaign is co-op compatible, so grab some -- or ALL of your friends to play, because the co-op player limit is 32 players! As well as co-op, Retrovirus features Deathmatch, Team-Deathmatch, Domination and MOBA modes.


The first thing I noticed about Retrovirus is that it's slower than any Descent game that I've played, not that much slower, but it's still quite noticeable. So if you're into the fast paced action of Descent, you might not find that here. It doesn't necessarily ruin the game, but it's definitely different if you just got back from a game of Descent.  :) However, the movement is much like descent, it's very smooth and graceful, perhaps this comes from the slowness. And if you wanted, there's even an option in the gameplay menu that you can change to your preference (0% - 100%) to make your ship drift around, I personally like this option as it helps me navigate around corners at higher speeds (mostly when using afterburner).


Combat is really close to descent, weapons are very basic, you have your lasers, ect and even a shotgun, Which I personally think was needed in any 6DoF game, so props to them. You may aquire data by killing enemies, collecting emails, and collecting RAM, to "Update" your weapons or ship in singleplayer, changing how they act, like the first laser that you get in the game, you can upgrade it to slow your enemies, turn it into a hitscan weapon that fires faster with less damage, or you may increase the damage of your weapon with larger projectiles, sacrificing refire rate. You may refund your updates and put them into something else at any time, so you may change your playstyle at any point in the game.


The weapons have sort of an Unreal Tournament style alternative function to them. After you fire your weapons, they leave a data imprint on the world and enemies, pretty much any surface they hit. Afterwards, you may use the "Scan" function on your ship to activate the imprints, and that will give your weapons a different effect. As an example, when you fire the shotgun type weapon and then scan the data imprints, it creates a gravity well, sucking in all of your enemies so that you can switch to another weapon and begin firing upon them while they are helpless. The scan function is your main means of interacting with the world, activating weapon imprints, spotting threats before you see them, using switches, and opening doors. HAVING to use it to open doors kinda bothers me. You can't shoot or bump into doors to open them like in Descent.


I won't spoil anything, but the campaign's story seems pretty straightforward. You are an "Agent" of an antivirus program in a computer, a virus that you've never seen before invades the computer and begins wreaking havoc, and as an Agent, you must stop it. Nothing really stands out to me as far as story goes.

That's about all I know for now! I'll update this again as I keep playing!
Title: Re: Ronin Reviews: Retrovirus
Post by: Scyphi on February 08, 2013, 06:27:23 AM
That get released already? Wow, didn't know, in fact, hadn't heard a great deal about this game since it's announcement (that said, I hope it won't go the route of D3 and became largely unknown simply because few knew it even existed).

Anyway, sounds interesting. Something always felt off about it from my perspective, though, but as I haven't actually played it, what do I know? :P
Title: Re: Ronin Reviews: Retrovirus
Post by: Kaiaatzl on February 08, 2013, 07:32:08 AM
There's a lot of plot twists in the story after you leave the web browser, but they don't really take away the straight-forward-ness.  You have to admire a writer who can pull that off :P.
I had a lot of fun in the singleplayer campaign, at least the parts where my framerate wasn't dropping down to 5 fps.  In multiplayer, my framerate never goes below 20.  Personally I'd rather see a review that doesn't constantly compare the game to another game (no matter which game that is!) but seeing that this is the Descent community I think this sort of a review will definitely be helpful to a lot of people.  I'll put a link to this thread on the new Retrovirus section on the DBB, 'cause that's where the real discussion about this is going on; and a lot of people are asking that question.
Title: Re: Ronin Reviews: Retrovirus
Post by: -<WillyP>- on February 08, 2013, 08:06:18 AM
Now, I wonder if there's the option of fan-created levels and mods? If there is it won't be long before we see this with a more Descent like atmosphere and story line.
Title: Re: Ronin Reviews: Retrovirus
Post by: Foil on February 08, 2013, 08:14:09 AM
According to Mobius from the DBB (who is financially involved), it does (or will?) have the ability for users to create modded levels and physics, and he anticipates someone creating a "Descent" mod for Retrovirus.
Title: Re: Ronin Reviews: Retrovirus
Post by: Ronin RedFox on February 08, 2013, 10:21:15 AM
Yes. It will include a level editor. There's a button for it in the launcher already, overlayed with "Coming Soon!" :)

EDIT: Retrovirus just received an update. Here's the patch notes:
Quote from: Steam
Version 1.0.5342 changes:
- Fixed switch for boosting puzzle on Entrance.
- Fixed inconsistencies with weapon availability and selection.
- Fixed incorrect door locks on co-op clients.
- Fixed enemies and trains jittering in co-op.
- Fixed checkpoints sometimes spawning players in dangerous situations.
- Fixed corruption nodes appearing outside of the level on Depths and Race.
- Fixed bot and turret ultimates attacking their owner in deathmatch.
- Fixed various rare crashes.
- Improved visuals for ultimate activation.
- Optimized networking bandwidth and performance.
- Added fullscreen resolution and graphics device selection.

Looks like they might have fixed some of the graphics stuff I was talking about. :) I'll hop on it today after work and see what's up.


Honestly finding this really hard to play at a low FPS. Not very enjoyable. The game has a lot of potential, but at the engine's current state, it takes a lot away.