Time Recoil is a fast-paced top-down shooter which has brought a whole new dimension to time travel and saving the world from mass destruction. Although one may compare to the likes of Hotline Miami and Mr. Shifty, 10tons have stepped up its 2017 release with unique mechanics that will make you envy you are not the protagonist, Alexa yourself, tearing through the stage with special moves, dashes, and slow-motion attacks.
The plot is simple, Europe has been dominated by a mad scientist called Mr. Time. You play as Alexa, who is part of the rebel organisation, the Recoilers who are plotting to take down Mr. Time’s tyranny and save Paris and Berlin from his weapon of mass destruction, the Time Eater. Although, concerned with the risk of not being able to understand the flow of the plot due to the constant shifts between events of time during the timeline of the 1970s to 1980s, they have engaged the plot with classic RPG-style dialogue and haven’t further complicated the matter; their main goal is to ace it with the awesome gameplay.
To those who have played Hotline Miami, you will have no problem in adapting the controls; the use of L/R buttons and Left/Right sticks to navigate through the map to shoot enemies and use special abilities. However, if you are new to the bird’s eye perception of gameplay, you will eventually adapt the controls through trial and error. You are assigned various missions by the Recoilers to take down Mr. Time’s regime, which include saving hostages, stealing data, and destroying machines; as well as a time attack feature. It can feel slightly repetitive at times; however, the maps always change and alternate, and the challenges gradually increase as enemies are placed in more strategic places, which allows players to chance to strategize their next move to clear the stage.
The most satisfying aspect of Time Recoil is the special abilities that Alexa possesses. When you eliminate an enemy, you go into slow motion, which gives you an opportunity to kill as many as possible in a short space of time and avoid bullets and attacks in the process. When you kill two or more, you can dash through walls and kill anyone in your path, which can be useful for shortcuts or taking down enemies in corners, which are challenge to safely confront. The more kills that you gain, you will gain further dash abilities which are stronger and can reach more enemies around you.
The difficulty is gradually increased throughout the game, which forces the player to develop the ability to strategize and incorporate problem solving tactics to overcome obstacles. It would be a good advantage to strategize when you use the dash and slow-motion abilities to gain a more successful outcome on your mission. You must especially consider your ammo throughout the missions, as it can be a problem to obtain any more where there is potentially an enemy standing nearby ammo. In these instances, you can carry out melee attacks, which can be effective to preserve ammo.
The music is another awesome aspect of the game, the 80s cyberpunk style gets your blood pumping and highly motivates you to tear through the level. Every track is unique and original, a lot of detail is clearly given to the quality of the soundtrack, it will leave you humming even when you are away from the game. You may even pause for a quick dance break whilst listening to music (might be guilty of doing so).
Overall, Time Recoil is an excellent, innovative addition to the top-down third person shooting genre. The special powers of dash abilities and slow-motion kills are satisfying, and easy to equip with a press of a button, aiding you in the challenges ahead. There are times where the game can be at risk of repetitiveness and frustrating difficulty, which could result in profanities slipping from your mouth (hopefully not in public), but the satisfaction you will receive from the completion of missions and chapters makes the whole experience all worthwhile. Future titles from this genre will certainly have difficulty creating a concept that will overshadow this funky, cyberpunk style action title.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.