Ripout Preview - Gumming Up The Works

Ripout promises to indulge all of your limb-removing sci-fi horror FPS fantasies, but can it live up to the killer concept? Read our preview to find out.

Published: May 25, 2023 11:00 AM /

Previewed By:

artwork displaying a horrific creature of flesh and machine screaming in apparent pain with the words Ripout written on the left side of the image.

Sometimes, you can wait for something to happen for a long time, then find yourself slightly disappointed in the results. Ripout is a fascinating concept for a video game. Not only is it a body-horror sci-fi shooter, which is just a great genre title, but the idea of being able to rip parts of your enemies off to use for yourself is exactly the sort of weirdness that gaming needs to keep alive. That said, we’ve had the opportunity to take a look at Ripout recently, and it seems like all of that flesh in the pipes is gumming up the works a bit. 

What on Earth (or Space) is Ripout?

Ripout screenshot showing a darkened room where the silhouettes and glowing eyes of various cosmic horrors can be seen as the player reloads their gun.
The textbook definition of "too much on your plate." 

Ripout is a horror/sci-fi FPS title that sees players attempting to blast their way through derelict ships to complete various tasks. Players are accosted by horrific creatures of writhing flesh and flailing limbs the entire time. On the plus side, you have a living gun that can jump onto enemies and steal their limbs for yourself. See, this is what I meant by “the sort of weirdness that gaming needs to keep alive.” 

The game also has a co-op focus, with a style of gameplay that will be very familiar to anyone who has played a co-op PC game in the last decade and a half. You and your friends meet up in a lobby area where you can upgrade your equipment, put on different cosmetics, and select different nearby ships to explore with your team. You can also play the game solo, but it’s a tougher experience, even with the free revive token they give you. 

How Does it Play?

In terms of combat and game feel, Ripout is incredibly well-made. The gunplay is well-done, and all of your weapons have a satisfying attack animation whenever you use them, both melee and ranged. You spend much of your time creeping around dark corridors, usually drenched in gore and/or broken machine parts (both you and the corridors.) It all goes together to create a fantastic atmosphere that has you listening intently for the sound of a monster literally pulling itself from a pile of flesh for fear of a gruesome death. 

There’s certainly something intense about the game as well, possibly due to the difficulty factor. You have a limited light source, and many of the rooms are dark. You can also find yourself overwhelmed pretty quickly, especially earlier on when you’ve got basic equipment with no upgrades. Many of the missions I’ve been on came down to nail-biting finishers, where I was crawling onto the exit shuttle with my intestines wrapped around my ankles to keep my feet on. 

Procedurally Generated Problems

Ripout screenshot showing an abandoned armory stacked full of rifles and other gear.
No matter how many times you wish it, these guns never actually contain any ammo you can use. 

So, Ripout is immersive, atmospheric, and plays well; what’s the issue? As far as I can tell, the primary problem relates to Ripout’s use of procedural generation. The level design is very atmospheric, but all the ships feel the same because you can tell they were randomly cobbled together by a computer rather than being designed by an actual human being. While that isn’t exactly a game-breaking issue, it makes the game feel a bit repetitive and boring, especially if you are playing the game on your own. 

That aside for the moment, another issue is that the missions also feel like random pieces thrown together by a computer. Some missions drag on forever, even after you’ve completed the objectives you ostensibly showed up for. You can also end up doing missions that don’t make sense, such as being asked to start the core on the same ship three times after being sent in to destroy the core for being unstable. It all goes into making the game world feel inconsistent and works against the immersive nature of the game’s atmosphere and sound design. 

Problems Of A Different Nature

Ripout also suffers a bit in some other places, but they’re mostly minor. Enemies have a horrible tendency to be bullet sponges, soaking up an insane amount of damage before they finally keel over. What’s not great about that is that you have severely limited ammo and can often be confronted with a huge number of enemies. It would have been nice to be able to do something about this as well, but you unlock weapon mods at random, so good luck getting a decent capacity upgrade in your first few hours. 

That’s another limiting factor for Ripout. When you start a new character, you have almost no options outside your basic gun and sidearm. That’s not too much of an issue, but in co-op, it makes everyone feel like they’re playing the same basic character and role, and in single-player, it makes combat feel the same. It would have been nice to have a few different basic gun types from the get-go to give the early game more variety. As it stands, you have to play for an inordinate amount of time to have any hope of grabbing a new gun. 

Is There Any Hope for Ripout?

Ripout screenshot showing a curled over corpse lying on the ground with a yellow outline.
You're gonna have to search most of the corpses you come across just to keep your ammo count looking healthy. 

It doesn’t feel good to be too down on a game, especially not one you were excited for. While there are certainly plenty of problems here, it’s not like they couldn’t be fixed. Adding some variety to the weapons and trying to reign in the procedural generation a bit would make the game feel more engaging. I would also like to point out that the game currently doesn’t tell you what the difference between a mission and a quest is, but still asks you to complete a certain amount of both to progress. 

Finally, it would be nice if we got to explore something other than the same derelict space vessels over and over again. I know they’re always going to be derelict ships because that’s the point, but we could have some different designs to choose from occasionally. Even if there were only three rotating styles that were picked at random, it would be a bit better than the boring, same-y designs that we see in literally every single map in the game at the moment. 

My Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, there is some amount of fun to be had with Ripout, and there is every chance that some key improvements could happen before it hits full release. Right now, though, there's not much of a reason to play the game. The levels all feel the same, and the interesting concept of being able to rip parts of your enemies to use for yourself loses its appeal pretty quickly. Maybe with some more interesting places to explore, it could be worth getting some friends together to play this thing, but it'll be a while before I can convince anyone to be dragged down the same blood-streaked corridors over and over again. 

Ripout was previewed on PC using a copy provided by the developer over the course of 9 hours of gameplay - all screenshots were taken during the process of review.

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| Staff Writer

Will has been writing about video games professionally since 2016 and has covered everything from AAA game reviews to industry events and everything in… More about William

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Ripout
Game Page Ripout
Pet Project Games
3D Realms
Release Date
October 30, 2022 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)