Imagine if humanity was on the brink of extinction. Would you risk your life to save it?
We’d like to think we would. But after playing Ripout, which has the very same premise, we’re not so sure anymore. It’s one thing dying for a good cause, but it’s another when your death arrives after being mauled by grotesque mutants. We’d rather just enjoy our last days, weeks, months… whatever, taking it easy instead. Sorry humanity.
At least you don’t have to be on your own in Ripout. This online co-operative horror first-person shooter can be played alone, but it’s much more fun when you have a friend or two with you. You can watch each other’s backs, too, making things a little more safer for you all. Though your job of boarding derelict ships and searching for a glimmer of hope is never going to be easy.
On your ship you can plan your next move, sort out your gear and get in the right frame of mind for the mission ahead. Once everyone is ready it’s time to descend on your target, disembark, and pray that you make it back alive. Chances are you won’t at first. But as you improve your skills and learn the ins and out of the job, your chances of survival climb ever higher.
There are lots of co-op shooters around, even horror ones, but Ripout sets itself apart by equipping you with a living weapon as standard. Called a Pet Gun, there are three varieties to choose from: long shot, shotgun and assault. But more interesting than that, you can use it to scan for enemies then send it to attack them.
Send it to attack, and not only will it do damage and distract your enemy for a short while, but it might also highlight a weakness for you to exploit further. The only drawback is you’ll only have use of your sidearm and melee weapon while it’s gone. Some mutants you encounter, however, aren’t capable of attacking you, but they can attach themselves to others to provide them with additional abilities or bonuses. Unless you grab them first.
Act fast, and your Pet Gun can grab a smaller mutant and turn it into a weapon that’s useful to you. It might be a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, for example, or a clawed appendage that you can strike enemies with. It’s just a shame their use is limited before they disappear. In any case, it’s better for you to gain possession of them rather than your enemies. Or at least deny them by blasting them to smithereens.
The freaky enemies of Ripout don’t need the help of smaller mutants to make them more fearsome, though. They do that themselves over time. Emerging from vents and masses of gross organic matter that litter the environment, you’ll encounter everything from dog-like monstrosities to hulking humanoids reminiscent of the Tyrant from Resident Evil.
When it comes to the latter, it’s rare that two look exactly the same. Some have three legs, others are more robotic than organic. But there’s one thing for sure: every time you encounter a giant mutant, your heart rate will rise as you set about trying to combat it. Especially if you’re running low on ammo, which is a common occurrence if you get trigger happy.
Ultimately, your goal is to move through the derelict ship you landed on, completing objectives while moving from sector to sector. You might need to locate and search the bodies of a number of its crew, for example, or shut down a reactor. The trouble is, the further you get, the more fearsome the enemy forces you’re up against become.
If you have any hope of achieving the main objective then making it back to your ship to escape, you’ll need to make use of perks that you can find along the way, allowing you to increase the power of your Pet Gun, amongst other things. You’ll also need to manage your resources effectively, and if playing as a team, communicate. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.
Needless to say, the concept of Ripout isn’t exactly original, but its living gun and mutating enemies are promising enough to get us rather excited about it. Even at this early stage, its gameplay got its hooks in us within minutes of play. Though it helps that the game has a suitably haunting atmosphere and makes great use of sound to keep you on edge.
Set for launch later this year on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC, it’s safe to say that Ripout is now firmly on our radar. We can’t wait to dig into the full game, working as a team while also being scared silly. PC gamers don’t have to wait until it launches to play, though. A demo will be available as part of Steam Next Fest. So, if it looks like something that might interest you, give the demo a download on the 13th June and try it for yourself.
Ripout launches this year on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.