April 19, 2022 — Revita is a new competitor in the ever-growing, packed roguelike arena. It was released on Steam’s Early Access in March 2021 and has received decent praise since. The game is now ready and launches in complete form on Nintendo Switch and Steam on April 21. But does the “full” 1.0 version has what it takes to compete with the big boys like Hades and Rogue Legacy — or does it get trampled down?
“The story of ‘Revita’ follows a young kid stuck in a rebirth time loop as he ascends an ominous clock tower in pursuit of memories lost between lives.”
Tower of Rebirth: Subway Story To Hell
The story of Revita (assumingly a wordplay on “Revitalized”) follows a young kid stuck in a time loop as he ascends an ominous clock tower in pursuit of memories lost between rebirths and must harvest and sacrifice his enemies’ souls to somewhat karmically develop his own (perhaps the developer was influenced by the concept of nirvana.)
When he dies, he wakes up in a subway car, bringing him to this odd ethereal underground, dungeon-like railway system. There are NPCs at the station players will unlock to help fill out the world’s lore more. These citizens are trapped within the subway dungeon too and can be freed at the cost of player health.
NPCs not only give more context into what’s going on, but they also unlock new features. There is a carpenter that can decorate the station if given enough materials. This same NPC can also build things in the dungeon to help make your next run more promising. Some NPCs will stay in the dungeon and will randomize inside rooms instead.
There is a lot to see in Revita but the story is clearly secondary to the gameplay, which is the case with a lot of roguelikes — and it is a good thing, as gameplay tends to be appreciated over dialogue by most gamers.
Customizable Twin-Stick Blast
Revita is a bit different from most roguelikes because it is a twin-stick shooter without any melee weapons, making it stand out in a crowded genre. Players can shoot using the shoulder buttons while aiming with the right stick or they can make play easier by shooting and aiming with the same stick. The wealth of options at players’ disposal is excellent as not all games, AAA nor indie, allow for useful controller customization.
You start the game with a decent pistol but soon unlock everything from a machine gun to a shotgun to even a rocket launcher. Every gun has its usefulness, and the aforementioned rocket launcher really packs a punch. However, the blast radius will damage you as well if you are too close. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the shotgun might be the strongest weapon in Revita thanks to its power and ability to hit multiple targets at once.
On the downside, the shotgun range is limited which can be especially devastating for bosses that love to cling to the ceiling. There is seemingly a gun for every type of player out there and unlocking them does not take a lot of time.
You Looped Me All Night Long
So, you may be wondering, what does a loop consist of? From the train station, elevators go up through the clock tower stages. Each has a limited number of doors that change between runs. Sometimes they will be filled with enemies while other times there might be a chest, upgrade statue, or NPC.
At the end of each stage is a boss, beat it, and then move on to the next floor. Simple. There are not that many stages in the game before you’ll get to the final boss — defeating it will take some practice and a lot of luck though, so it is certainly well-designed.
“Revita is almost a true roguelike in this way and the only way to “git gud” is through repeat practice.”
Everything you gain in the dungeon, from increases in your health to sub-weapons like one that slows down time will be lost upon death. Depending on how you did, including enemies killed, you’ll get materials and coins, both used at various vendors within the station although no shopkeepers will boost your stats in any way. Unlocks instead are more like items, or room tweaks, that will appear randomly on run-throughs.
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Revita is almost a true roguelike in this way and the only way to “git gud” is through repeat practice. After a few attempts, you should be able to make it through the first two floors easily enough though.
There is an assist feature that halves enemy damage and players can also crank up the difficulty to make the game more challenging. In addition, an “aim assist” mechanic has also been implemented, but in all fairness, it didn’t help much in my time with the game.
Also, there’s no ‘Easy’ mode, but then again — the game is not as brutal as most of its contemporaries.
OUT OF 10
THE GOOD STUFF
- A somewhat stand-out roguelike with attractive pixel art.
- Solid controls with useful, customizable options.
- The few assist options present does a good job.
- Could have included a lot more guns.
- More progression between runs would have been nice.
- Relying on health for currency tends to make the game harder than necessary.
The platforming and shooting feel good and the game looks incredible through its pixelated art style, and the music is decent enough too.
Conclusive Thoughts For Those About To Buy
Is Revita going to be the next indie roguelike sensation? No. It doesn’t do anything mind-blowing to push the genre forward but it is a highly solid experience that can be hard to put down. It would have been nice if health wasn’t players’ main currency in the subway dungeon, and I would have liked to have seen more wild guns and random items thrown into runs as well.
“What Revita presents is a well-balanced, somewhat stand-out and unique experience for both beginners and intermediate roguelite fans.”
I generally prefer my roguelikes to have more progression carry over between runs, like through stat boosts. What Revita ultimately presents right now is a well-balanced, somewhat stand-out and unique experience for both beginners and intermediate fans of the roguelite genre.
Developed by German indie-team Benstar, Revita launched in Steam Early Access on March 21, 2021, only a little over a year ago. The complete edition launches on April 21, 2022, on Nintendo Switch and Steam. More information is available on the game’s official website.