Re-review: Compromised

Posted: 2014/05/31 in Indie Games

This is a re-review of a game that I reviewed back on Day 633. It’s worth a second look.

How can a game simultaneously remind you of everything and nothing at the same time? It can when that game is "Compromised", a game that constantly invokes the feel of (but never quite copies) the visual aesthetics of several diverse influences. Is it R-Type? Is Commodore 64 classic Delta? It's all that, none of that, and more.

This formerly 240 Microsoft Point (now $2.99) game is a twin-stick shooter, but you won't mistake it for the neon-drenched experience of Geometry Wars and those games it influenced. This game has a grittier edge to its look, and it serves it well. Presentation in general here is absolutely top notch, and could easily be offered as a $5 or $10 Xbox Live Arcade title and no one would bat an eyelash at the price. Another way that Compromised wouldn't be mistaken for Geometry Wars is its campaign mode, with long levels and periodic boss fights. A nice addition.

Another nice addition is the upgrade system, which lets you increase a variety of stats over time, including an unusual upgrade option that dictates power-up drop probability. Yes, you can upgrade the probability of choice upgrades being dropped into the game, and that's something I'm not sure I've seen before.

Taking a cue from platformers, there are environmental threats here in the levels as you navigate them (and the levels can be claustrophobic at times so avoiding them isn't always easy), which makes this feel more like R-Type with better controls and full freedom of movement than it does a typical dual-stick shooter. Yes there will be giant fans, saw blades, and more, and put this in the context of hand-designed levels (rather than the random enemies of your typical two-stick shooter) and occasionally cramped surroundings, and this is a very different experience. I like that the big levels give you a sense of progression and exploration that's missing from your typical enclosed arena game like Geometry Wars.

All in all, the game has ridiculously tight controls, attractive presentation, and does some things I haven't seen before together (or possibly even separately), and that easily justifies a price tag that's little more than half of the regular price of the cheapest XBLA offerings.

Here's what the developer (Super Soul) has to say about the game:

"You are Aero, a defender struggling to protect your world from invading forces. Stranded in the wastelands of Se-Da you must shoot through waves of enemies and battle massive bosses. Collect energy and upgrades to overcome the staggering odds and find a way home. Experience the stunning graphics, responsive controls, and the heart-pounding soundtrack. Learn more at CompromisedGame.com"

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