Atari and SneakyBox have done it again, adding yet another ‘Recharged’ title to the ever-expanding range of resurrected Atari classics.
This time, it’s Berzerk: Recharged, a twin-stick shooter that sees you making your way through an endless maze filled with robots out to get you. Like most games in the Recharged series, Berzerk is very simple, but then that’s part of its charm.
Jump into the main mode of Berzerk: Recharged and your only goal is to survive as long as you can. At the end of your run, you’ll be presented with a score, giving you endless impetus to try again, scoring higher and higher.
If you really want to aim high, you can turn on up to three modifiers, each amplifying your final score. Iron Man mode gives you just one life, meaning taking just one hit will end your run. You can also disable your ability to dodge, and disable all power-ups from appearing.
Playing is simple: each screen of the game is one room, filled with various robots. Some will shoot at you, some will charge. You have a limited amount of time to clear them and get out before ‘Evil Otto’ appears: a large, round overlord who can’t be defeated. If Otto gets to you, it’s an instant game over.
You don’t need to clear a room before moving onto the next, but you’ll score better if you do. Sometimes, though, it makes sense to simply get out of the way before Evil Otto arrives. The further you progress in one run, the trickier rooms will get: enemies get tougher, and more obstacles are added, making you think harder about how to safely destroy each robot.
Outside of Berzerk: Recharged’s main mode, you’ll find a string of challenges. These fixed levels task you with completing a specific task, but they’re not as clear-cut as challenges in other Recharged games have been. Essentially, they seem to be a smaller, finite series of rooms for you to get through. Not all that different from the main game, then, but at least it’s another way to play.
Berzerk can also be played in co-op, with a second local player joining in on the action. It doesn’t add much to the game, but everything’s more enjoyable when you’ve got a friend along for the ride, right?
A solid entry into the Recharged series, Berzerk: Recharged is a simple little twin-stick shooter that offers a fun distraction for a short amount of time. Its gameplay loop isn’t quite as compelling as the likes of Caverns of Mars or Quantum Recharged, but it’s yet again a faithful and enjoyable reboot of an Atari classic, and a worthwhile addition to anyone’s library.