In the late '90s to early 2000s, compelling horror-infused sci-fi shooters were a staple in the PC gaming scene. Titles like Quake 2, Half-Life, Doom 3, Unreal Tournament, and countless others combined the terrors of unknown alien lifeforms with over-the-top futuristic weaponry to excellent effect. However, like many popular trends in gaming, the oversaturation of this particular brand of shooter eventually led the sub-genre into a steady decline.
I recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with a title that pays homage to this iconic era while injecting modern sensibilities into a classic formula. RIPOUT is a macabre sci-fi horror shooter that pulls inspirations from legendary contemporaries and delivers satisfying yet disgusting gameplay. If you’re a fan of bio-mechanical monstrosities and disturbingly unconventional firearms, RIPOUT aims to dispatch plenty of stealth, scares, and science fiction.
What is RIPOUT?
RIPOUT is a 3-player co-op horror FPS that pits human combatants against unsettling mutants. Players are tasked with fighting their way through abandoned, procedurally generated ships with a host of unique biome types. The vile creatures you face possess the unique ability to repurpose their bodies for battle. Smaller entities will fuse with towering hunks of flash to construct a nightmarish mass hellbent on killing you and your friends.
Thankfully, players are equipped with a powerful answer to these revolting mutants: the Pet Gun. This bizarre weapon doubles as an adaptable companion, which can be summoned to take down weakened enemies or search for valuable supplies. Understanding how to leverage your Pet Gun’s talents is essential for overcoming intimidating enemies and surviving your expedition. Defeating enemies, gathering resources, upgrading equipment, and safely returning to your ship are the critical pillars of RIPOUT’s gameplay loop.
Where RIPOUT shines
As it stands, I’ve only played roughly one hour of RIPOUT, but that’s given me a decent glimpse into what players can expect from the overall experience. This sci-fi shooter from Pet Project Games has a remarkable sense of tone and identity. As soon as the game opened, my eyes were immediately pulled to the articulating appendages of the Pet Gun. From there, every curious beast I discovered filled me with a distinct sense of unease. Much like Dead Space or even The Thing, these alien lifeforms adapted to their surroundings in disturbing ways.
While I only explored one biome type in my gameplay preview, I found the atmosphere of RIPOUT quite engaging. Industrial steel plating seamlessly fused with mounds of flesh to create a fascinating dichotomy of man and machine. The game also strongly emphasizes dynamic lighting, or lack thereof, to introduce haunting environments. Tense, ambient sound effects, gnarly mutant behemoths, and dimly lit locations certainly satiated my desires as an enormous fan of multiplayer horror games.
What I want to see more of
In my play session with Goran Rajšić, creative director at Pet Project Games, I was given insights into the goals and ambitions for the final product. RIPOUT aims to deliver a demanding co-op experience that rewards stealth, patience, and teamwork. Part of this mission statement is offering a suite of upgrades and customization options for players. The Pet Gun can be fundamentally altered to align with a sniper rifle for distanced attacking or a shotgun for players who prefer to get up close and personal.
I was incredibly excited to hear about the game’s in-mission rogue-lite elements as well, which add temporary stat increases such as improved stamina. However, I didn’t get a great opportunity to truly understand how much depth these systems will add to RIPOUT. I’m interested to see how weapon upgrades, Pet Gun enhancements, and armor abilities factor into the final product and enrich the sense of progression for players. There are undeniably promising elements at play, but I’ve only been offered a small taste so far.
Who is RIPOUT for?
RIPOUT is a gruesome sci-fi shooter for fans of iconic franchises like DOOM and Quake. If you’re someone who appreciates a hefty amount of horror sprinkled in your FPS adventures, RIPOUT clearly has your tastes in mind. The appeal of a broader audience will likely stem from the addition of 3-player co-op. Still, Rajšić also stressed that this upcoming title scales based on the number of participants and can absolutely be completed by solo players.
While the "campaign" is less than traditional, RIPOUT incorporates narrative beats throughout the procedurally generated missions to deliver a coherent, overarching story. My plays session didn’t feature any narrative-centric developments, so I can’t quite comment on what that will look like for players hoping for rich sci-fi storytelling. However, for players like myself who enjoy getting scared with friends, RIPOUT is shaping up to be a fascinating co-op shooter.
RIPOUT is currently targeting a Fall 2022 release window for Xbox Series X|S, PC, and PS5. Players can also enjoy a playable demo courtesy of Steam Fest 2022.
Miles Dompier is a Freelance Video Producer for Windows Central, focusing on video content for Windows Central Gaming. In addition to writing or producing news, reviews, and gaming guides, Miles delivers fun, community-focused videos for the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel. Miles also hosts Xbox Chaturdays every Saturday, which serves as the Windows Central Gaming weekly podcast.
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