Tech reviews

Review: Escape from Terror City

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My video review with footage captured on the Xbox Series X/S.

Escape from Terror City is a retro endeavour that’ll drive you insane. This easy-on-paper title should be done and dusted in no time. However, a weird sense of depth perception and cruel mechanised foes keep you on your toes. 

This low poly 3D game was developed by Renegade Sector Games and Eastasiasoft Limited and published by the latter. Moreover, it comprises some strange 3D bullet hell moments and a smattering of platforming elements. Accordingly, it requires accuracy and a dextrous touch if you wish to be victorious.

Escape from Terror City: a grim look to the future. 

I love the simplicity of old-school sci-fi. These classic tales always focus on the grim downfall of mankind. What’s more, the OTT weaponry is amusing yet oddly exciting. Subsequently, it’s a hearty blend of drama and absurdity. As such, rarely, I don’t fall for this dated genre’s charms. 

Humanity has become divided. However, a treaty pact has been created. The remaining factions know that fighting will doom the race. Consequently, if one sector becomes aggressive, the rest must group together to stop them. Sadly, Escape from Terror City highlights how the best-made plans occasionally fail. As such, you must invade the aggressive faction, destroy their technology, and save the capital city.

Simple gameplay. 

The 5 levels follow a fairly strict linear path. As such, there are virtually no exploration elements to think about. Instead, you must focus on avoiding wave after wave of projectiles as you shoot every enemy you face. Furthermore, each level is broken down into mini-encounters. Accordingly, you must overcome every foe before you can proceed. This approach was undeniably basic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

What wasn’t so great, however, was the lack of new tools at your disposal. Though your opponents become larger and stronger, you are armed with a laser cannon. This basic gun was strong enough to tackle everything, but I wanted more variety. Unfortunately, this never materialised, and that was disappointing. 

The developers mitigated against boredom by chucking in plenty of gargantuan bosses to fight. These asshat mechanoids were overpowered, annoying, and wonderfully rewarding to destroy. As such, the gameplay was finely balanced throughout. 

The calm before the storm.
Things are about to get messy!

Escape from Terror City won’t please everyone. 

The dated visuals and garish colour palette make Escape from Terror City a marmite experience. Graphics aren’t everything, so I enjoyed the trip down memory lane. However, if you love smooth animation and a pristine finish, this will leave you wanting. Additionally, the low-key level design and repetitive character models fail to ignite any sparks. As such, you’ll either love or hate what you see. 

The audio follows suit. The synthwave soundtrack is complemented by shrill and dated sound effects. This nostalgia-infused approach will disappoint all but the hardiest of sci-fi lovers. Yet, if this floats your boat, you’ll grin from ear to ear from beginning to end.

My biggest issue with this title is the odd sense of depth perception. The camera turns at such a pace that you become disoriented. As a result, you’ll lose your bearings, miss your opponents, or fall to your death. Unfortunately, this issue plagues the action throughout, and it’ll make you scream with frustration. 

The hero fights the antagonist.
Take him down and save the day.

Failure is to be expected. 

The woeful camera angle undermines much of the control system. Accordingly, it is tough to navigate the minor platform elements. Furthermore, trying to get the upper hand on your foes is almost impossible. Subsequently, don’t expect too much from this retro and often infuriating game. 

Another shortcoming is the lack of longevity and replay value. Escape from Terror City has 2 difficulty settings and a small list of achievements to unlock. Other than this, there is no reason to return and this was disappointing. Had the developers incorporated more depth and some customisation options, then you’d be more inclined to return. 

Escape from Terror City is fun whilst it lasts. 

Though this game infuriated me, I adored its old-school mechanics. Furthermore, the action is casually mindless. As such, it’s a pleasant change from its deeper and more challenging peers. However, it is its shortcomings that undermine the potential. Consequently, you’ll either love it or hate it. I loved it and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you defeat the treacherous rebels and save the day? Grab your rifle, avoid the deadly projectiles, and destroy their jamming technology. 


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