Thou shalt not love thy neighbour here in this place, show no mercy, kill them all and let God sort them out.
Type: Multi-player, MMO
Genre: Action, Battle Royale
Developer: Galvanic Games,
Release Date: 29 Nov, 2018
The end of the world is now and you, quite obviously thought to be touched by evil, were left behind. There is really only one logical thing left to do, you must go and kill everyone else who was rejected by the Rapture. That will show God you are a force to be reckoned with and rightfully deserve to ascend along with the best of them. Using improvised weapons in a post-apocalyptic torn up hellscape, you must use your wits and any and all available items to ensure you are the last one standing in this free-for-all brawl.
This might sound a little weird, but I am not a fan of these sorts of games and may not actually be the best person to review one of them. I have no interest in MOBAs or Battle Royales, nor do I usually play the multiplayer component of games. I’m much more at peace in my single player world playing my questionable JRPGs or even MMORPGs if I have to be social. The only reason I even considered playing this game is that I have been reading Cyanide and Happiness since it began back in 2005. This review is being written from the point of view of someone who is inexperienced in the genre and who generally doesn’t do well at these sorts of games.
State of the Game
I’ll break from the commentary to air a tiny little complaint/issue with the game. Currently, with the game being recently released and with a kind of high price tag for what the game currently offers in Early Access (and the general stigma surrounding that system), there are not many players on at any given time. It’s not uncommon to wait on the title screen for quite a while before the game actually starts. One of the times I had enough time to get up, walk to the kitchen, collect my dinner, walk back to my computer, sit down, eat my dinner and take away my plate before I even got moved to the pre-game holding area. I didn’t wolf my food down, I ate it at a reasonable pace. Then once I did get into the game, I was killed about a minute later because I went for a weapon that someone else was using as a trap. As soon as I got near it, I saw them and they opened fire on me. You only have one life to live in Rapture Rejects so I was then sent back to the lobby to start the waiting process over again. Also, some of the matches I played felt like I was alone in the world. I wandered from place to place collecting weapons for a good 3-5 minutes before I encountered another player. Luckily the Armageddon comes fairly frequently and shrinks the arena so that keeps it interesting at least. Basically, what I am getting at is the game itself feels to have been rejected in the rapture. There are hardly any players playing it right now so it can be hard to get into a really thrilling/fun match. I did have some fun matches though, but it was mostly the empty world feeling ones regardless of the time of day I was playing. Now that the free weekend is over Steam Spy reports that the average concurrent players are under 50 at any given time (average of 20-30 at the time of writing this and usually only like 1 or 2 of them are in the match with you) so that explains why the wait time is so long to start a game and why the world feels kind of empty when playing it. I feel if the player base was to increase, this game probably would have quite a lot of potential, but with all the competition in this market segment out there Rapture Rejects is fighting an uphill battle against all the free-to-play competitors available.
With that out of my system let’s get back to the game. As you wander around you will find useful items that can aid you in your survival in this kill or be killed ruined world. One of the enjoyable features of the game is the fact that you don’t just use conventional weapons and items. You pick up whatever junk happens to be lying around and use that to wage your war on your fellow rejects. Pick up a nailgun and really stick it to your enemies. Maybe use the Tromblunderbuss to reinforce the trauma that band camp instilled in them. They always tell you not to put a fork in the toaster because it can be dangerous, but no one ever said not to fill it full of knives and use it like a double barrel shotgun against your enemies. Sporks are an interesting tool. They are not quite a spoon and not quite a fork but are definitely useful as part of a sniper rifle. There is a pretty famous quote floating around that went something along the lines of “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I brought a whole lot of bubblegum for my Gumballer Rifle.” With digital downloads being so common nowadays it makes sense to recycle and repurpose those old CDs into ammo. Speaking of digital, does anyone even use non-mechanical pencils anymore? May as well turn that Pencil sharpener into a submachine gun. Keeping the health of the planet in mind, always remember that you should Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Reload your Compost Rifle. Lastly, it just wouldn’t be Cyanide and Happiness without dropping the F-Bomb. Many weapons have an alternate fire mode that can change up how the weapon works. This leads you to have many options when it comes to trying to prove your worth to God. Or, I mean, you could always just use a disguise kit and hide somewhere until everyone else has been obliterated and then stand victorious over their corpses.
Currently, there are two modes to play the game in, both which are multiplayer so those of you who want to play against the AI, tough luck. In Solo mode, it is you versus the world. The only thing between you and your ascension to Heaven is everyone else who has the same idea. You must fend for yourself and try to be the last one standing. In Duo mode, it’s basically the same idea but this time not everyone hates you, just almost everyone. You have a companion who will have your back, or at least should assuming you don’t wander off in search of an F-Bomb or other such items while your buddy gets surrounded by the more dynamic duos. Regardless of which mode and how you do, you will earn tickets depending on how you did. These tickets can be converted 100 at a time, to get yourself cosmetic items. If you are terrible at this game, it will roughly translate to you needing to play up to 20 games to unlock a new item. The prize booth is a fun distraction but doesn’t really do much in terms of gameplay experience.
Rapture Rejects looks like the comics. The character designs feel like they were torn from the comics themselves. You are able to customize your character and add whatever gender features you want to it. The game doesn’t force you into any predefined gender characteristics or predefined characters in general. Once you set up your Rapture Reject and wait on the main menu for a while you are tossed into a holding area where the people tend to be jerks. They will walk around attacking you unmercifully until eventually you are let loose in the world to fend for yourself. The 2.5D environment consists of the aftermath of the rapture as well as a bunch of buildings you can explore. Strewn around the landscape is lava, dead bodies, and general rubble along with some useful items to keep you alive just a little longer. It looks good and despite the fact Cyanide and Happiness comics tend to have a plain white background, the background of the game seems to be quite suitable and not out of place. I’m pretty sure the game would be rather boring if it was just a plain white background. There isn’t really much in terms of variation for the general backdrop, but the layout, buildings and their contents seem to be different each time.
The sound in the game is pretty decent. Each weapon and item have some form of sound effect with it. Each one seems quite suitable and lets you know which weapon is being used against you if you can’t tell by looking. The music is pretty good as well and the choral nature really helps reinforce the biblical theme of the game. It’s a bit disappointing that there are no spoken words in the main game, but that can be forgiven due to the fact they want to have as many different language speakers as possible being able to enjoy the game.
Controls are simple enough and there are little prompts on your screen to tell you which button to press. The controls are responsive enough that you are able to play it properly without having any real quirks to deal with. There are some aspects that are a bit annoying, but that is par the course in these games. Having to manually reload your weapon can be a bit tedious, especially in a heated battle. This also leads to sometimes comical battles where two or three players have a running gun battle, then all stop to reload their weapons, then resume the battle. In my mind I picture them having a nice civil conversation with each other before going back to hating each other. While not a control issue per se, the long delay when opening a crate really leaves you exposed. If the world was fuller it could definitely be something you would have to worry about and only open those boxes strategically. It can also sometimes be difficult to pick up the specific item you want on the ground if it is near something else. Another issue and this is more of a real issue, is that it can be hard to tell what ammo goes with what weapon. When you play it enough you eventually will realize which you need for which weapon, but as a new player, it can be frustrating to risk your life to grab an ammo pack, being told it is already full and still being out of ammo for your current weapon.
Let’s talk about the gameplay itself in a little more detail. Don’t get me wrong, this game does have a lot of fun to offer and I could see it being a great go-to game for a group of friends to play or even just for random games if the player count could get high enough. There are plenty of weapons when you factor in the alt-fire modes and various items available to use. The kill or be killed, hunter and scavenger elements really make the game more enjoyable than just being outfitted with gear when the round starts. Everyone being on a level playing field and left on their own to cobble together what they need to survive adds to the excitement. There is no pay-to-win element, there are no classes or stats, it’s just you versus them. While the humour of the series is a bit muted when it comes to the game itself, the trailers selling the game to you are fun little Cyanide and Happiness shorts in themselves. I did have one decent match while I was trying to write this review. It was me versus five other players. Ultimately it came down to just me versus the other remaining survivor. Unfortunately, fate was not kind to me and I found myself trapped in the wing of a building with no door. I have to say that round, I did have a lot of fun. That’s how I know this game does have a lot of potential. The more people in the round with you, the more interesting and fun it gets. For the record, the reason why I lasted so long was that God had dropped a special extra large crate outside the window of that building I was in and any fool who tried to open it got sporked a good one by me. Sadly though the apocalypse occurred and cut off my retreat. I tried healing myself and running through the Hellfire but unfortunately, I was burned alive. I guess I paid dearly for my sins.
So, should you pick up Rapture Rejects? This is a hard call really. I want to say “Yes, you should pick it up” and tell you all the reasons why you should, but I can’t in good faith do that right now. I can say that if you are a fan of Cyanide and Happiness then odds are you will enjoy the graphics, sounds and the general look and feel of the game especially if you are also a Battle Royale style game fan. I’d also like to offer this game up to the non-Cyanide and Happiness fans who want to try their hand at Battle Royale games or have a change from their current one but I can’t really at this time. It could just be because it is in Early Access and people are rightfully afraid of that flag nowadays and/or because it was only recently released out of closed-beta but the player base isn’t very high right now. Given enough time this may change as I did enjoy it when there were a couple of other Rejects chasing me, but for now, the games take too long to start and is too barren to really have a lot of fun. It has the novelty of the Cyanide and Happiness theme going for it, but other than that there isn’t really much appeal to play this game right now. I think I will save this one for later.