Ruiner’s first patch makes cyber-life a little less ruinous

Ruiner

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.

Ruiner is out now for £15/€20/$20 on both Steam and GOG.

Disclosure: RPS’s own Alec Meer script-edited for Ruiner early in development.

4 Comments

  1. epeternally says:

    Nice to see they’re rolling out fixes fairly quickly. I found Ruiner pretty lackluster and used my second ever Steam refund but I’m still hopeful that it could be a good game somewhere down the line.

  2. michelangelo says:

    I left this joyful game at its (I believe) closing sequence in the ring where waves of enemies are approaching. Too much to carry for my screenface ninja.

    There are in difficulty increasing waves, then boss. I took down two bosses and had no energy to go through this loooong sequence again. Can anyone tell me how much of game I am still missing and if it’s worth going back? Not so keen to do so, since on hard (which recommended by developers) my hands hurt from how intensely I hold and operate gamepad.

    • Sulph says:

      That’s pretty much the last of it before a quick ending cutscene. You’re not missing much except for, well, closure – what there is of that. I played it on Normal, and the fully upgraded shield + ram move saw me through the arena. It’s a bit OP.

      It’s a really nice game, by the way, and RPS should do a WIT. The story isn’t anything, which is a shame; and its environments and encounter design are repetitive, but the core gameplay is enjoyable. The animation feels wonderfully tactile, and the cyberpunk aesthetic is really well-done. Plus there’s some great music in there to go along with the butchering.

      While it’s a twin-stick brawler/shooter, there’s a little something about it deep in its guts that reminds me of oldschool Syndicate, which was a pleasant surprise.

  3. Enko says:

    I stopped at Mother.
    Glad they made her less annoying.

    I am playing on normal to enjoy the game. Not prove to the world I am elite at Ruiner. Will pick it up again.