Top Critic Average
Recompile is a short-lived metroidvania with a great story but forgettable platforming, puzzles, and combat.
Recompile definitely isn't a perfect game – its combat and platforming have issues and it's easy to miss important things – but if you put the effort in, it's a rewarding and enjoyable experience with stunning visual and audio design and an interesting storyline.
A hacking action adventure that makes exploring code a platformy, puzzly treat. It could be clearer at times and combat's only fine, but this is a world you'll want to install regardless.
Recompile brings a lot of great ideas to the table, but none of them work well together in their implementation. While it presents an interesting story, you'd have to wade through the immensely frustrating gameplay to get there.
Challenge enthusiasts will be delighted by some platform-based passages, as well as by some fights, especially against bosses. At least before you become overpowered. The adventure will have in any case convinced us, while telling us an interesting story that is revealed in small doses.
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Its almost as if for every step forward Recompile takes, it insists on taking one back. However, the saving grace is that its not a long journey through the motherboard, that is to say it is thankfully pretty short. So those folks that are forever chasing those achievements can rack up some score here, and its on Game Pass which makes the cost of admission even better. If you enjoy ‘metroidvania’ type games and you don’t mind the issues then there is fun to be had here, and you don’t even have to go digging in the dark web to find it.
As a metroidvania, Recompile succeeds in bringing the genre typical hallmarks into a marvellous minimalistic world, full of curiosity and poignancy. Where it fails is in its core gameplay. Between a lacklustre implementation of core mechanics, and some glaring oversights, Recompile feels it is not all that it could be. Flaws aside, there are moments in this game, both visually, audibly and narratively, that you won't soon forget. Beyond doubt, this is a stunning game in a few respects that needs to be seen. It is just a shame that the artistic vision had to be delivered at the cost of getting some of the basics right.
The exploration, narrative elements, art style, and audio are all excellent in Recompile, but the platforming begins to feel redundant after a while. Especially since the level design doesn't provide any clear direction and leads to regular backtracking and second guessing. There are also missed opportunities where the gameplay could have been more interesting and balanced. Still, the game should scratch that itch for those always looking for something new to experience.
Recompile is stylish and well-written, but its messy Metroidvania structure and clumsy platforming corrupt what fun it might have offered. Maybe this game would have been easier to recommend a decade ago, but in a world where Hollow Knight and Axiom Verge exist, and an actual Metroid game is coming out in around a month, Recompile just isn't up to code.
Recompile is the complete adventure package. It has good gameplay, an intriguing minimalist story, striking visuals and music, and developers who respect the player’s ability to explore on their own. Go get it, you won’t be disappointed.