Riftstar Raiders is of a genre that I’ve loved for many years, and that is twin stick shooters. There’s something so satisfying and enjoyable with the control scheme that makes it an immensely fun genre no matter the content. So what could go wrong? Let’s take a look at Riftstar Raiders.
A twin stick shooter is a genre where you’d come to expect fast and frantic action, right? Texting you from start to finish, plenty of enemies swarming you at breakneck speeds while you spray bullet laden death in their direction. That’s what I think when I hear the genre mentioned. That’s what I want when I boot up the game, and when it turns out I’m in charge of a ship that feels like a hippos wearing roller skates trying to navigate an ice rink, then there’s certainly a problem. Gameplay is lethargic and unresponsive, which lends itself to a slow paced affair that feels drawn out and devoid of fun. A stark contrast to what I was hoping for, and as I’m a guy that places gameplay over graphics, I felt disappointed to say the least.
As we have just mentioned graphics, I think it’s only fair to move onto that right now, and Riftstar Raiders looks beautiful. Not just the immediate scenery that you have to navigate and interact with but also the background. The game looks fantastic, and I can’t deny that the art team has a talent and should be proud of their hard work.
After playing for several hours though, I felt as though it was a chore to play the game, as I slogged my way through. Enemies were faster and numerous which gave the AI full advantage over my slow moving ship. A shame that I felt as though I’d rather turn the game off than continue playing, which a game like this shouldn’t be doing.
There’s an option for up to 4 player cooperative action to take into account, and games can be far more fun when playing together with friends, and to a degree that is correct. But the persistent problem that is the slow paced gameplay that haunts the game remains fully intact.
It does pain me to look down upon a game within my favourite genre, and one that looks as pretty as it does too, but unfortunately that is the case today with Riftstar Raiders. It’s devoid of that frantic action I and many others would be craving when laying our eyes upon the game on the marketplace, but the reality is that it’s just not there. A large portion of what makes a game fun.
What could have been a fun, engaging and pleasant experience quickly made me realise that it’s definitely not the case with Riftstar Raiders. As it’s one of my favourite genres, I was disappointed with the end result, and will recommend a pass. There are positives to be had though, so it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a shame that what does make a game fun is absent this time around.
Overall Score 4/10
Developer: Climax Studios
Publisher: Vision Games
Release Date: 28th February 2018
File Size: 2.55GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Xbox One