RIPOUT, the horror FPS, launched in Early Access on October 24th. The first project developed by Pet Project Games, an indie studio developed in 2020, RIPOUT will seem familiar to fans of Deep Rock Galactic.The Early Access trailer oozes with Aliens-like atmosphere, and immediately intrigued me. With smooth-looking gameplay and a uniquely designed “Petgun”, the trailer reminds you of Duke Nukem gameplay. This makes sense, given they share the same publisher, 3D Realms. A big fan of Deep Rock Galactic and horror games, the vibe of Ripout made it a must-play for me. Does it live up to its mighty sources of inspiration? Read on to find out.
Sentient Weapon Soldier
It’s the year 2084, and humans have lost the war against aliens. They also managed to create mutants through regenerative tissue technology that have also begun to wipe them out. Humans being the downfall of humanity? Imagine that. You wake up from cryo sleep Master Chief-style, a “Sentient Weapon Soldier”. Your goal? Investigate what has happened and try to survive. The best bet is to track down the location of the fabled safe-haven called Sanctuary. The story is not what you play this style of game for. Additionally, it is not what I would recommend RIPOUT for. The story, while not necessary, makes a nice addition.
Up to 3 players can play RIPOUT together. Let me be clear (Barack Obama voice), Co-Op is the way to play this game. All marketing, all advertisements, all information about RIPOUT refer to it being a Co-Op game. Playing with friends greatly improves the quality of your experience with RIPOUT. Playing solo really exacerbates the game’s issue with repetitiveness, and boredom will come quickly. A creature popping out of the vents and scaring your friends is where the game really shines.
Sigourney Weaver Atmosphere
RIPOUT really nails its atmosphere. Music and sound are crucial to any piece of horror, and RIPOUT crushes it. The audio immersion, through music and sound cues, is really well done. The world gives really strong Aliens vibes, and the creatures are genuinely creepy. I found myself feeling discomforted several times in my playthrough in the best of ways. Horror often utilizes cheap jump scares, but that is not the case with RIPOUT. Pet Project Games clearly had a design in mind, and they executed it extremely well.
Find ‘Em, Build ‘Em, Put ‘Em in a Stew
If you are familiar with the gameplay loop of Deep Rock Galactic, you will understand how RIPOUT plays. Your Sentient Weapon Soldier and his PetGun, along with any Co-Op teammates, start each entry at your shuttle hub. The shuttle hub serves as a home base. Here is where you will use the schematics and materials you find to build weapons and gear. Additional weapons such as the Shotgun, Laser Gun and gear like Beetle Leg armor are built by resources gathered in game. The loadout is built, a mission is selected, and the team heads off into space.
My Precious Little PetGun
The best part of RIPOUT is the PetGun. The PetGun is your sentient weapon that serves as the basis of any weapon you use. The PetGun is launched out at enemies, dealing damage and tears parts off of them. In addition, the PetGun can seek out Critters, which are limited boosts such as laser beams or shields that get added to your character. The PetGun serves as a really unique and fun addition and helps RIPOUT stand out from similar games.
A quest states that your shuttle is running low on fuel. Blasting off to another derelict ship, you scour the levels of the ship, fighting off creatures, while trying to track down some fuel deposits. Rinse and repeat. Difficulty will scale, new weapons will be found and built, and new creepy enemies will be discovered. The gameplay loop, however, stays largely the same. Go to another derelict ship that looks uncannily like the last one. Find “x” resource or “y” clue that gets you closer to Sanctuary. Rinse and repeat. My Co-Op partner and I, while enjoying the atmosphere, mechanics, and gameplay, quickly became bored of the missions’ similarities. It was hard to play for more than an hour or two at a time without losing the desire to play.
Sanctuary: The Friends we Found Along the Way
RIPOUT does a lot of things quite well. The creepy horror atmosphere, the smooth FPS gameplay, Co-Op design, and PetGun all make for a game worth playing. However, the repetitive mission structure and maps make it a game worth playing only for short periods of time. The Co-Op focus allows for a ton of fun with friends, but the aforementioned structure halts the fun after an hour or so. For their first game, Pet Project Games, in what is clearly THEIR pet project, have a lot to be proud of. All things considered, if you are looking for an affordable horror FPS akin to Deep Rock Galactic, you could do much worse than RIPOUT.
***PC code was provided by the publisher for review***
- Creepy, well-designed atmosphere
- Smooth, fluid gameplay
- PetGun is a unique concept
- Seamless Co-Op
- Lack of mission diversity
- Maps also quite repetitive
- Boring for single players