GDC 2019 Spotlight: Recompile

GDC 2019 Spotlight: Recompile

Recompile  is a 3D metroidvania inspired action adventure being developed by Phi Games and published Dear Villagers. In Recompile, players become a sentient AI entity as they journey through a digital landscape known as the mainframe. The art style is somewhat reminiscent of something like Tron or even Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, where everything has a bit of a neon coloring to it, although Recompile is an outlier among these other digital landscapes for containing mostly red, black, grey, green, and some white, rather than primarily featuring various shades of blue.

For its platforming, Recompile features both jumping and dashing, two abilities of which players will be able to eventually use infinitely, creating multiple paths to distant platforms. There’s also a jetpack which I didn’t get to see in action but still found intriguing. While having these abilities infinitely with no stamina or energy system seems overpowered and like it would be to easy, you don’t have access to infinite use until much later in the game, and even then there are still puzzles that need to be solved in order to progress. Playing around with these mechanics actually made me feel as if the Recompile was based on popular DC superhero The Flash with how rapidly you could traverse through an area.

The aforementioned puzzles typically involve performing some kind of action in order the activate a switch to gain access to the next area. What was kind of confusing is areas you need to got toward are all red, and before realizing that seeing red makes you think you can’t go to that area yet, but once you understand how Recompile digital landscape is visually different from other games, you tend to get used to it.

Besides platforming and puzzle solving, there is also a combat element which uses third person shooting mechanics, with a handful of different weapons to find and utilize. Enemies will often chase after the player once seen, and will signal other enemies to come back them up. Once the enemies have been dealt with then the players can continue to go through the level without having to worry about them until they encounter another later on.

Although I didn’t get to see too much of Recompile, — and missed out on the hacking mechanic, which allows players to change the surrounding environment in various ways and even make enemies fight each other — I’m quite excited to see how it turns out and see what else it has to offer. The cross between feeling like a superhero while traversing through a digitized world is one that feels exceptionally distinct and its ability to blend several genres together without having any feeling like an afterthought just makes it more intriguing. If you’re a fan of games that mix genres together well or enjoy exploring digital style landscapes, then Recompile is definitely one you should be looking out for.

Recompile will be coming to PC in 2020. It’s also planned to release on other platforms, but which ones are currently unknown.

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