Don’t you just hate it when you wake up and you’ve accidentally joined a cult? It’s proper annoying having to fight your way past hordes of people just because you agreed to something when you’ve had a few too many, especially if you’ve ended up in a compound full of mindless minions and surrounded by dangerous pointy things. That’s why when Radio Viscera crossed my desk, it felt like the first time someone had truly understood what a struggle escaping cults can be.
At A Glance
|Positives||+ Fun twin stick shooter|
+ Perfect controls
+ Cartoonish violence is great
|Negatives||– Sound and design a little lacking|
– No clarity on puzzles
– Can be a little too overwhelming
|Price (When Reviewed)||£15.49|
|Our Playtime||7 Hours|
Radio Viscera is a twin stick shooter from one man team, Owen Deery, AKA Fire Face Corporation, that has you waking up in a compound full of Y2K ‘enthusiasts’ after some sort of workplace accident. Not wanting to belong in this sinister environment, our nameless and faceless hero decides to blast their way out, but there’s only one problem… The game handily informed me that to make progress through the various compounds, I must only dispatch enemies using the environment rather than killing directly… that ‘workplace accident’ is suddenly starting to make sense. Thankfully there’s a prototype Air Powered Evacuation Device on hand that, in essence, expels any bad guys from your personal space and is powerful enough to break through walls. Handy!
When I busted through the first few walls in Radio Viscera’s apocalyptic setting, I knew I was in love with this game. In the 7 hours of game time I was essentially playing through a game of Total Wipeout, except enemies weren’t bouncing off those big red balls, they were becoming big red balls of blood and guts. The industrial setting to Radio Viscera certainly allowed for interesting hazards for those hazmat-suited baddies to meet their end in, – early examples ranged from gigantic saws to molten metal pits, and as the journey continued, the hazards became even more entertaining. In one particular room early on, it felt like a game of pool – trying to get each enemy into a different hazard that occupied one of the corners in the room and the only thing missing was an announcer saying, “Green goon to centre fire pit”. In fact the game has a fairly limited soundtrack and could have done with more sound across the board. There isn’t much of a backing track, save for the transitions between levels, so we’re left with the various whirs of ‘gun’ fire, the clattering of walls being broken and the sound of squelching bad guys as they meet their doom.
The level design of Radio Viscera is equally basic as it served its purpose of housing an abundance of killing methods and the obligatory hidden collectables, but not much else. The isometric camera gave a decent, if a little restricted look over the action, but I felt the ultra bright cartoonish characters contrasted really nicely to the rather drab backgrounds of industrial greys that made up the complex system of mazes. After a while, the environments became repetitive to look at in such a way that they blurred into one. I don’t want to knock the work that Fire Face Corporation put into the level design, rather I think the danger of setting any game in, what is in essence a rather large metal shed, is that it proves a fountain of knowledge for cool dangers and ways to explode those cultist extremists, but it leaves very little variation for the aesthetic of the game.
Most of my fun came from the controls themselves and Radio Viscera made the right choice focusing on gameplay over visuals, with a true twin-stick setup that treads the fine line between being too-twitchy and too-sluggish perfectly. Most of the time I felt I was on the cusp of losing control over my masked guy, but by the same token I was always able to stop with pinpoint accuracy and able to nimbly dodge oncoming bullets – especially handy when the game often threw everything at me. This could be a little overwhelming at times as the screen fills with countless minions, all asking to be yeeted into the nearest furnace, but I will say no matter how busy the action got, my woefully inadequate PC never buckled under the pressure.
The only slight issue I had withRadio Viscera is that it can be a little unclear what has to be done in order to proceed. In the first compound, I spent a good while looking for a switch to open a set of large doors that I couldn’t blast through. As it turned out, I simply had to eviscerate a fair number of workers for the doors to eventually open. It’s little quirks like this that could have been solved by a simple counter or a better objective arrow, rather than the tiny one that just guides you to the next room.
Radio Viscera is an entertaining romp through the camp of Y2K cultists to say the least. The twin stick shooter manages to tick a lot of boxes and make you forget the few negatives. While the setting is a little ‘by the numbers’ and some of the puzzles could have been implemented slightly more effectively, you’re left with a relentless and comical game that doesn’t overstay its welcome. With fast paced controls that are perfect to a tee and cartoonish violence everywhere, Radio Viscera accomplishes what it sets out to be – a fun shooter experience and you can’t fault it for that.
In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher provided VGamingNews with a copy of the game in order to conduct this review.