Enlarge (credit: Reikon Games)
I wish I could go back in time and experience the opening levels of Ruiner for the first time with a controller.

The top-down cyberpunk shooter from Reikon Games pretty much demands the fluidity of twin-stick control, even at the cost of mouse-and-keyboard precision.

And by “demands,” I mean the game kicked my head in six ways ’til Sunday before I realized the optimal way to play.
The harshness of the action is telegraphed by the harshness of Ruiner‘s tone.

The game’s world is as red as Carrie on prom night and puts about as much value on human life.

An opening crawl of text warns you that this dystopian future is as much about malice as mega-corporate profit—that hacking into people’s brains and messing up their lives “has never been more fun.”
That form actually gets in the way of function, at times. Mostly red bullets are guided by red laser lights to produce red blood over red metal floors from enemies and weapons highlighted in red.

Throw in the odd explosion or glitchy screen static as your character’s brain gets hacked and the action can sometimes get impossible to read.

Thankfully, that action is smooth enough to compensate for these occasional problems (so long as you’re playing with a controller).
KILL BOSS… and then some
All that action isn’t muddied with plot, either. Ruiner drops your nameless, faceless avatar into a densely guarded corporate hideout. Your objective to “KILL BOSS” crackles harshly over the screen and airwaves on repeat.

Things escalate when a miniboss fight forces you to juggle a timer, which extends every time you kill an enemy, along with dodging shotgun and assault rifle fire.
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