Grungy cyberpunk hack n’ slasher Ruiner [official site] was well-received at launch, but developers Reikon Games are still tweaking and tuning it behind the scenes. They’ve just rolled out the game’s first major patch (full notes here) since launch, with an emphasis on smoothing out some kinks in the difficulty curve, and making bullets the deadly people-killing projectiles they’re meant to be, as opposed to a poor man’s melee substitute.
Developers Reikon Games say the game is still hard (as intended) even now, but they’ve made tweaks across the board in order to make things flow a little better and ideally make ranged combat feel more satisfying and viable. Difficulty is a thorny subject and a very tricky thing to tune in games, as we’ve seen with Cuphead recently. Developers can easily lose perspective over time as to what a new player can handle, and even playtesters might lose sight of the big picture after too much exposure.
Easy mode is now easier in all regards, Normal mode makes the protagonist a fraction less death-prone, and all difficulty settings have seen the bullet-absorbency of the average enemy mook reduced. All ranged weapons now boast faster projectiles, at least when in the player’s hands. There’s no mention as to whether enemy bullets have been accelerated to match, but I’d imagine not. A couple automatic weapons have also had their firing cones tightened up, so it’s generally easier to hit stuff with bullets, and those bullets hurt more, as they rightly should.
It’s not all neon sunshine and cyber-lollipops. In the name of fairness, a few bosses are no longer vulnerable to being stunlocked, meaning that you’ll have to fight them properly now, and one of the Angel fights now has enemy minions spawn in as intended, so you’ll have a little more on your plate to deal with. Seems a fair enough trade.
There’s a few more tweaks and a couple other bugfixes, but the main thrust of this update is to smooth out the difficulty a little, especially with regards to guns. The Steam version now also offers cloud saves and trading cards. The former being a highly useful feature, and the latter… Well, being Ruiner, at least the wallpaper-sized card art should be nice. The game still lacks key rebinding, but the patch notes promise that this will be coming in the next update.
Disclosure: RPS’s own Alec Meer script-edited for Ruiner early in development.