Top Critic Average
The ramp-up period to learn the game is long, even with the quickstart guide, because much of what factions can do and how they do it is new or just not intuitive. It's also the kind of game that can satisfy lots of different players, and I could easily see a group playing repeatedly with the same people playing the same factions because they learn specific strategies for each and like the style of one faction over all others. Just don't let the cute theme fool you—the forest of Root is a nasty, brutish place.
Pitting the player's wit against a changing set of circumstances is a fun and exhilarating experience on paper, but ROOT makes too many wrong decisions in executing this mechanic that it's hard not to see the majority of its level-by-level progression as anything but malnourished of some much-needed player-support. Be it the lack of checkpoints, lack of salvageable health, lack of difficulty balancing; there's not even the ability to reload your weapon.
ROOT is a hard first-person shooter, an experience clearly designed for players who love the classics of the genre and feel that modern releases are too cinematic and too focused on narrative for their good.
ROOT is an odd fish, but a pleasant surprise. Deep Fried have done well here.
Atmospherically, ROOT does deliver the sort of intriguing digital dystopia so woefully underused as a genre for modern video games. Unfortunately, problems with some of the gameplay systems and AI spoil the experience and never quite allow the game to live up to its potential.
I'd just wait for Deus Ex to go on sale on Steam and get that instead; it's ROOT but prettier