Retrovirus by Cadenza Interactive is a game we previewed as far back as July 2012, and is now near the stage of release. Since then things have come on greatly and the game has gone from strength to strength to be quite an entertaining title. Retrovirus is a decent based, zero-gravity shooter that has the gameplay set within a computer. This idea of being inside a computer is genius, and you have to imagine everything shrunk down to microscopic size, allowing you to traverse many miles through a brilliantly clever landscape.
The game promises over five hours of single player campaign, plus various modes of online play. It is with the one player mode I spent most of the time, investigating the landscape and discovering how to overcome the puzzles that lay inside the game. There is also a bit of shooting, so there is plenty of gameplay for everyone.
The game has you moving freely around a futuristic landscape that seems inspired by the film Tron and by various other such games. You have movement in all directions, including up and down, and the game is best played with a keyboard and mouse.
During the game there are many enemies that float around that need to be shot or scanned. There are also futuristic kiosks that need to be scanned. Scanning objects and doors is needed to open various doors, sometimes if you scan one thing, a door somewhere else will open.
There are brief puzzle elements to the game, usually just a matter of scanning and opening doors, finding key passes or other objects and then re-trying sections which you couldn’t enter before. Thankfully there is enough that is interesting about the game to stop the puzzles getting repetitive and annoying.
Throughout the gameplay you do get the feeling that you are inside a vast microcomputer with various sections looking different, the game feels big, and because of that you always feel as though you are going forward and progressing. There are a vast array of enemies and puzzles to solve, and the five hours that is promised seems very realistic. The game of course has a wealth of online modes and challenges to keep the player occupied, unfortunately during the review period, no online games were available at any of the times the game was played, however the challenges do add a good few hours extra to the gameplay.
Retrovirus is a game with a certain art style that fits the game perfectly. Think Tron with a lot more colour and you can’t go far wrong. The game feels very organic, with certain sections looking very computer-like, and other areas with many nooks and crannies looking like technical caves.
The game has some great lighting effects and this adds to the beautiful looking style of the graphics. On a reasonable laptop the game plays very well, on a high-end PC it should even better and looks particularly stunning.
The game has a very relaxing soundtrack that really sets the mood for the game. Everything is very atmospheric and just like all brilliant soundtracks, it actually adds to the whole experience of the game.
Sound effects are the usual blasting noise of the lasers, bumping noises and shooting noises, and this is one area where the game doesn’t excel at all. The ambient effects and music more than make up for this though.
Retrovirus is a strange game, on the one hand it offers a lot, with a great environment to explore and some interesting puzzles. It also has some gorgeous graphics and adequate sound. On the other hand although there is a lot to explore and extra modes, it all gets very samey very quickly. There’s nothing about the game that will make you want to come back time after time, however when you’re playing it for the first time its very enjoyable.
Retrovirus is an interesting game for those who enjoy exploring and puzzle solving. There’s a bit of shooting action in there as well, but overall the whole of its parts feel a lot less than the experience it actually gives you.