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.
Review in French | Read full review
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.
Puzzles which consist of navigating logic gates by pushing buttons are fine, but not particularly taxing. The hacking mechanic has its uses, though, and a surprisingly engaging story will pull you through the game despite its flaws. It's a shame that some of the gameplay doesn't measure up, because there are some good ideas here. Sadly, there's an inconsistent level of quality that makes Recompile hard to recommend.
You could say, then, that Recompile might have benefited from running a final pass on itself, to correct its unbalanced difficulty so that it’s not nearly as hard at first nor as disappointingly easy and anticlimactic in the end.
On the surface, Recompile might look and sound like an interesting, potentially unique, proposal.
Recompile is an unfortunate example of success in applying side tasks while failing the basic task it has provided interesting storytelling through texts but with a flawed play experience full of strange design decisions.
Review in Arabic | Read full review
Conceptually captivating, Recompile offers a solid narrative, with a unique and aesthetically well-presented setting. However, the gameplay fails in almost every aspect, with problems in combat mechanics, puzzle solving and platform progression, which undermine all qualities and overshadow the project's potential.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
I love the way Recompile looks, and a Metroidvania with this much freedom could definitely work. To do so however, it would need to clean the world design up enough that you can tell where you’re going. A tighter jump or more forgiving platforms would go a long way as well. As is, far too much progress in Recompile feels like it comes down to luck and repetition rather than skill. Game Pass subscribers who love the look may want to give this one a chance, but most players will quickly want to eject from this drive.
Recompile is a great idea in concept. It surely is unique when it comes to its setting, visuals, and its “blink and you’ll miss it” story (in more ways than one when it comes to the latter), but as a game itself, it suffers from a myriad of issues that ended up hampering my enjoyment with it.
With plenty of gameplay elements and areas to keep things interesting it was also nice that the adventure was kept short enough as to not fall into the repetitive trap that many others fall into once the elements keep getting added in. So overall, if you’ve been looking for a quick and fun 3D platforming Metroidvania with a bit of mystery added in then I would suggest looking into Phigames’ Recompile either here on the PC or over on either the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 where it’s also launching if consoles are more your thing.
Looks aren’t everything. And unfortunately, Recompile is a prime example of that sentiment. The potential was there to make a joyful experience, one where you would look forward to trying out the various biomes and tackling the challenges in each of them. The narrative and design lured me in, as the plot choices and stylish flair of the Mainframe was engrossing. But, unfortunately, most of the actual gameplay took me right out of the experience and made it a disappointing endeavor.
As I sit here now, wrapping up this review in an attempt to shut myself up before I accidentally spoil something I would rather people experience for themselves, I am wearing a stupid smile. I am, at this moment, thinking about how great it would be for Recompile to garner the attention, respect, and acclaim it deserves. This is no ordinary game - it is brilliant and ambitious and frustrating in the one and only way that frustration can be a positive term. Recompile is a rare gem in a cave of unremarkable cobblestone, a pearl among cracked shells and coarse sand. If you do one thing after reading this review, do both yourself and I a favour: download Recompile, and once you're done with it, tell your friends to download it, too.