The folks at LifeSpark Entertainment were kind enough to let me into their newest game, Rack N Ruin, a tad bit before launch. In case you haven’t heard of it, Rack N Ruin is a crazy mashup between old-school RPG, dungeon crawler, and shmup (I feel giddy just getting to type that combination of old school goodness), and it’s coming to PC and PS4 very soon.
I’ve spent maybe an hour in the game so far, and during that hour I’ve learned one major thing: This game’s protagonist is pure freaking evil. Rack is a demonic little scamp who likes to bring misery into the world and steal the souls of any critter he comes across — including those of cute little bunnies. He also has a penchant for making worlds explode.
Upon entering the game’s first town, Rack rushes to the nearest well and pours some poison into it, claiming that poisoning wells is “a timeless tradition.” He then encounters a little girl, who he almost immediately pisses off, and tells her something along the lines of: “Be a dear and fetch some water for your mother.”
It’s completely hilarious, and I should be having the time of my life, but I can’t help but feel a tad bit guilty about all this. Sure, I’ve been desensitized by all the horrible crap I’ve done in Grand Theft Auto V, and I’ve spent my fair share of time playing as demons in the Disgaea games. But for some reason, Rack N Ruin makes me feel like I’ve reached a new level of badness, a level I’m not quite sure I’m ready for.
As for the game’s other elements, the art design feels like a hand-painted version of an SNES-era RPG, the gameplay is smooth and addictive, and the music is incredible. To me, these are all points in Rack N Ruin‘s favor. It serves up the exact mash-up of old school genres that I was hoping for.
I’m just struggling to shake the guilt of allowing myself to play a character this damn evil. Rack and I don’t exactly share similar worldviews.