The basic concept of Ape Out is simple - you control a large gorilla, and extinguish the guards to the right and left against the walls. Sometimes you can take them hostage and make them shoot at other guards, or hide behind like a human shield. The goal is to get free from the partially procedurally generated level. Simple at first glance? But after playing this top dawn action, I realized that this is more than just another copy of Hotline Miami. Today we have a review of Ape Out.
Minimalism and Bebop
Ape Out review is better to start not with the gameplay, but with the visual component. The game rests on two main pillars that make it special. The first is a minimalistic picture that is completely copied from the work of graphic designers Saul Bass and Paul Rand. Most of the game borrows soft colors and some shapes from Rand, while the rest 90% inherits Bass's visual style.
He is known for making opening credits and posters for films by Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese in his early years. It is his hand that belongs to the introduction to the films "Psycho", "Dizziness", "The Shining" and "The Man with the Golden Hand". Everything from style, shape and animation is borrowed from him.
The second big pillar is bebop. An offshoot of jazz characterized by a fast tempo and complex improvisation based on harmony. Specifically, Ape Out inherits the style of playing bebop drummer Max Roach - one of the founders of the genre.
In the game, the soundtrack is adaptive - that is, it depends on your actions. During the battle, the rhythm increases significantly and becomes very sharp and aggressive, fueling your desire to exterminate the human race. During the murder, we constantly hear blows on the cymbal, and between the blows on the drums, rifle shots sound. This is what makes the gameplay much more varied than in other games.
Not Hotline Miami
As a Hotline fan, I started the game with the thoughts: "haha Hotline Miami with a monkey." But as it turned out, conceptually they are two different games.
The hotline is very fast, and the process of passing is that we clear the level and constantly die in the process. Each time we remember where certain enemies are, we calculate our strategy in advance, in parallel trying to move to a pre-written soundtrack. The music itself in the game acts as a trigger for us, on which the type of our passage will depend - very sharp with the use of a firearm, a little slower with hand-to-hand combat, or combined.
All locations have a well-thought-out design, and you can't help but pass the place where the game designer directs you.
In Ape Out, the opposite is true. First, you have to get out or break through the opponents in any way: kill, run past, or even sneak in so that you won't be noticed. You don't die from the first hit, but only from the third. We also do not have ranged weapons as such. We can just grab the enemies, and they will fire once, and even then not when we want. The opponents have different weapons, which still adds interest.
As a result, the feed of both Hotline and Ape Out is one, but the latter turns out to be more variable in passing and gives us more freedom.
Feel like a jazzman
In the game, the levels are partially generated. The location of walls, rooms and openings changes after you die, as does the location of enemies. Also, each level, and there are four in total, gives us something new, like armored doors that can be used as a shield, glass windows of a skyscraper, from which you can throw enemies, or exploding barrels. Instead of memorizing the structure of the level, you are busy learning how to make the best use of its features.
The variable soundtrack helps keep a certain momentum - it doesn't force you to attack while you are standing still or just walking. At the same time, it quickly enters combat mode when you decide to turn people into a scarlet punch. This is the only way to complete the game.
The game itself helps to keep the pace at times. Sometimes the light turns off and enemies can only be seen by the light of the lanterns, and you rush past them, but the light can suddenly turn on, which will end your stealth and you will be surrounded. The only way out of this awkward situation is to arrange a bloodbath.
I've read other reviews on the game and met a couple of comparisons with which I completely agree - Ape Out resembles a jazz composition. You know how it should look, what rules and methods of presentation can be used, but you are free to do it however you want.
But the game has enough cons. Sometimes the procedural generation of enemies is completely out of place. In one case, you can quickly kill one enemy after another, while shouting something or shaking your head in time. In another, they spawn somewhere in one place and you die there, since there are a lot of enemies.
Another weakness of the game is open locations. They often have many enemies and there is nothing to push them into and it is impossible to kill them. It breaks the rhythm and does not infuriate me. In addition, our gorilla is quite slow, and it is rather difficult to escape from the clear field without the homosapiens being able to bear your evolving monkey brains.
The game still lacks some kind of consistency, so it is not suitable for everyday play, but rather for the mood.
To sum up the Ape Out review, the game is a very creative genre that boldly uses its design as part of the gameplay, which is commendable. There are certainly some clumsy compositions on this jazz record, but overall it is beautiful.
The Topic of Article: Jazz and Blood. Ape Out Review.