It’s fair to state rhythm romp Runner2 remains one of the finest indie games of all time. It’s a highly addictive endless runner that requires impeccable timing, a love of brilliant music, and a capacity for patience. It’s really a game for anyone – whether a committed gamer or not, its instantaneous appeal will have you hooked and you won’t be able to stop!
Thusly, it was with great anticipation Runner3 has been in the works. And it’s here now! Launched on Tuesday 22nd May (randomly – must titles wait till Friday), developer Choice Provisions has shaken up the formula and landed this mother on us all. It’s out on pretty much everything, so is it worth your moolah?
What’s new compared to Runner2, a game so perfect for its genre? Choice Provisions has ramped up the visual factor, added in a batch of new gameplay features, and made the thing bloody goddamn hard. But, the big leap up from its predecessor is the graphical overhaul.
In Runner3, as with the other Runners, the protagonist Commander Video runs relentlessly to the right. It’s your task to time button presses and combinations to overcome obstacles that hurtle towards you. It’s a rhythm game, of course, with music timed with some of the collectibles you pick up – the idea is for pulse pounding, addictive, rewarding action. It largely delivers.
Straight up, we’ll say it’s not as good as Runner2. We appreciate the decision to shift towards a 2.5D graphical style, but it doesn’t always work. The game often feels set at a weird angle and you can easily miss some of the collectibles due to the unnatural camera shifts – it’s headbanging and confounding at its worst. The goddamn difficulty can be intensely frustrating – you’ll have to be patient with Runner3, but the challenge is, at least, rewarding.
It’s helped along considerably by a strong soundtrack to keep your fighting spirit up. Ultimately, that addictive quality from Runner2 is still there, it’s still charming, but you will have to stick with it to get the most from its content. Some of the new gameplay mechanics (principally, the vehicle sections) are a bit rubbish, but it dared to try something a bit different, rather than rehash the older titles. Full credit for that, Choice Provisions.
One of the standout features of Runner2 remains its outstanding soundtrack. It’s been overhauled, and added to, for the 2018 title and has some lovely tunes and tracks available. This is crucial, really, as it helps calm your frustration as you attempt to deal with the games peculiar difficulty level.
Also, Charles Martinet narrates! He’s the legendary voice artist responsible for Mario, Wario, Waluigi, and various other beloved Nintendo characters. He’s even a playable character you can unlock, with others including Shovel Knight of all dudes! Fabulous.
Just to reiterate, we bloody adore Runner2 and can recommend this masterpiece over Runner3. If you’re new to the series, pick the former up first. Runner3 is steadily growing on us, but it doesn’t have the same immediate brilliance of its predecessor. Runner2 you can get in on pretty much any games console, it’ll be super cheap, and you’ll completely fall in love with it. Go for it!