Feature Art

Preview – RIPOUT [Demo] PC

I’m always on the lookout for the next FPS co-op time-sink, and living so far away from many of my friends has only bolstered that. But finding something new and interesting I can boot up at the weekend with a couple of my closest buds and waste the day away is not always easy. There are a few staples we go back to like Overwatch, Splitgate, and Rogue Company, but these are all online PvP. The jackpot is finding a fantastic squad-based game that is heavily replayable, challenging, and requires good teamwork. We try as many titles as we can but it’s hard to find something the whole group clicks with. For example, a few of us didn’t ever progress with GTFO too much, due to its slow, methodical gameplay that often means retrying a tough mission eats another thirty minutes of our limited time just from re-prepping. But RIPOUT shows promise in everything we love, and I think it may just be our next favourite thing.

Even though it has a horror feel to its alien-esque sci-fi world, it’s much more of an action shooter with just a little downtime for the survival elements. This means it’s important to conserve ammo and special attacks, make use of opponents’ weak-spots, and to be sure to assault with appropriate weapons – all important parts of team tactics. Larger monsters can easily tank hits, forcing players to turn and run as their friends focus fire. And due to the modularity of the creatures (we’ll get to that), there’s a need to constantly shift priorities and communicate what’s going on. That’s what I expect, at least. This first taste only showed off a single dog-like smaller enemy and the bigger humanoid ones already mentioned, but it’s immediately obvious how far this could be taken. Instead of needing to push parties by throwing a thousand zombies for them to mindlessly mow down, RIPOUT’s mutation system can make each battle feel a bit more like a boss fight. That plus the procedurally generated missions and one would hope to never play the same thing twice.

What’s the mutation system, exactly? Well, thanks to the fantastic concept of having messed up corrupted life forms amalgamating directly with technology via some weird alien transmutations, little pieces of corpses and hardware can often be seen running around the environment. These nasty buggers can both be snagged by the players using their awesome ‘pet guns’ (which seem to be insectoid organisms merged with firearms – so friggin’ cool!) and by the baddies. Either way, they enhance their owners with newfangled powers, such as a shoulder laser-cannon, protective shields, or flingable poison pods. Once again, a great team will be able to synergise these effects but will also need to coordinate strikes on the most threatening of them when attached to adversaries. It’s an incredibly fun system that instantly had my imagination running wild with possibilities. I mean, the more of them there are, the crazier and more replayable the combat becomes – especially when you consider that the beasts can have many attached all at once, thus comboing abilities.

On top of the in-mission gameplay, there’s also a hub ship that contains systems to unlock and/or upgrade weaponry and passive boosts using materials gathered from the field. It reminded me a lot of Deep Rock Galactic actually (though sadly without all the drunken nonsense). Let’s hope it can live up to that comparison by offering a wide array of utility items, armaments, and interesting skills to take advantage of. I’m probably giving RIPOUT too much praise for the small chunk we got to actually try but it absolutely has the foundation to be as incredible an experience as I’m envisioning, and that has me terribly giddy. Gripping theming, gunplay that feels good and needs to be adapted on the fly, a focus on cooperation, and tons of potential for content. What more could you and the gang ask for?