Wrack Review - Cel Shaded FPS Fun

Wrack is a cel-shaded FPS title that strips back most of the concerns of modern gaming to focus exclusively on hyper-fast shooter gameplay.

Published: January 8, 2015 9:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

Wrack Key Art showing a silhouette wielding a strange blue blade with a cast of desaturated characters below

A while back, I received the privilege of reviewing Wrack, a cel-shaded first-person shooter developed by Final Boss Entertainment. My first impression from playing hours of Wrack, besides the satisfaction of mowing through droves of aliens, was that the gameplay encompassed something I had been missing since my days of playing DOOM - no-nonsense action.

Wrack - Gameplay

In a world of games, we get so caught up in the characters, the story, and the visuals that we can become overwhelmed with the details. Wrack brings back the fun and does it in a simplistic manner, trading the usual video game filler for consistent, stimulating carnage of otherworldly beings bent on taking over the Earth (right after Earth's military is dismantled, no less). The controls for Wrack! are very smooth. There were never any issues that I encountered with movement, handling the game's weapons, or the game's AI. The AI was, in fact, the scarier part of Wrack as I found myself experiencing a lot of “oh crap” moments after dying from a robotic spider sneaking up behind me and exploding.

The boss fights were an entirely different beast and lacked the scariness of the NPCs, but they still required a lot of forward-thinking and strategy to overcome. This aspect broke up the fast-paced action and made it a requirement to stop, think and strategize occasionally.

Handling the weapons is one of the biggest learning curves for the game. Besides getting used to the firing arc of the pulse rifle, you have to deal with managing chain kills and effectively utilizing the finisher power-ups. This is problematic at times because there are areas where you'll slice through a crowd of aliens with your hot death-delivering shotgun and get a 5x chain kill bonus that you end up wasting because there are no enemies left to destroy. However, using it properly just requires getting used to the timing of your chain kills.

Wrack - Story, Visuals, and Soundtrack

As for the graphics, Wrack brings back the old-school appeal of games like XIII for the Playstation 2 by using the cel-shading visual style. In my opinion, this is an underutilized visual style that works well with Wrack, especially when that style is combined with the simple detail of the level and NPC designs.

The story, much like the visuals, is not breaking any norms, but it works well to establish the main character, Kain, as a man on a mission to not only halt an imminent alien invasion, but rescue his lady from what can be considered an otherwise one-dimensional villain.

The soundtrack for the game features a few tracks that get your heartbeat going, which, if you're a fan of first-person shooters, can help add a layer of intensity to the experience. The other sounds of the game aren't anything extraordinary and are tied to the NPCs.

The Verdict

In conclusion, Wrack is a truly enjoyable game. It presents a good balance of fun, action-intense gameplay that, when played for hours on end, would probably be a bit overwhelming in terms of stimulation. The story, sound, visuals, and overall gameplay combine fluidly to create a game that plays well on the fly, and it's good if you need to kill a couple of hours without getting too heavily invested. Couple that with its $14.99 price tag, and you can overlook the fact that Wrack does not particularly improve on the first-person shooter genre.

TechRaptor reviewed Wrack on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developer. This review was originally published on 01-08-2015. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions and for historical context.

Review Summary

Wrack is a throwback, cel-shaded shooter for a bargain price that any avid gamer would enjoy. (Review Policy)

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