RAD review conducted on an Xbox One X

I’ve always loved the term “diminishing returns”, but I never thought I’d be thinking about it under the scope of nuclear devastation. I’ve seen the rubbles of Washington in Fallout 3, an irradiated sprawl of rubble and gore nests; I’ve seen the sandy Parademon-infested world of a Batman movie that will never release – both of these are horrifying scenarios that many of us can’t even begin to imagine. But what if the apocalypse happened twice?

Well, Double Fine’s charming roguelike RAD doesn’t attempt to answer that question much at all. Set in the world of the post-post-apocalypse, you’d think that the already devastated world would look like the mangled results of a one-off high-school pottery class than resembling an actual planet but, like I said, diminishing returns.

See, in Double Fine’s RAD, a colourful roguelike set in the post-post-apocalypse, there’s not much to show that the world has been ravaged not once, but twice nuclear means. The radioactive wasteland known as The Fallow may be doused in pools of acid that houses cutesy irradiated creatures, but who’s to say that isn’t just leftover from the firstapocalypse? Whatever the logistics of a double apocalypse are, one thing remains true: RAD’s ravaged world is a stunningly adorable comic-book interpretation that’s always interesting to explore.

Continually impressive, the procedurally generated levels that house this game’s amiable enemies and treacherous challenges never feel like basic building blocks scattered together. Unlike the procedural generation found in games like Warframe, there’s a sense  that everything fits; every rock, acid pool, monster-infested cave and shop has its place. If – sorry, when – you die, you’ll have to start all over again, but then you’ll get to experience an all-new world, albeit with an identical aesthetic depending on what level you’re playing.

It’s variety that drives Double Fine’s roguelike out of the overflowing library of competitors and into the trophy cabinet alongside the greats. Each run will start similarly, even as you unlock new characters with unique starting quirks. As you explore through the game’s worlds and smash monsters to death with your trusty baseball bat, you’ll gain XP, level up and then mutate horrendously to gain new powers.

Walking through the desolated environments causes a growth of life to spring beneath your feet. Walking back along it will allow you to move faster – perfect for backtracking!

It’s the radical irradiated mutations that evolves RAD’s admittedly rudimentary combat into an ever-evolving sprawl of satisfying feedback, crunchy combos and intelligent design. Each mutation you unlock adds an interesting layer to combat, effectively forcing you to adapt how you both attack and defend throughout your run. With insane powers ranging from boomerang arms to spider babies, there’s always something new to keep you on your toes.

For those of you who love a challenge, Double Fine’s charming adventure is far from an easy game. With devious bosses, dastardly platforming challenges and that ever-so-engaging roguelike butt-kicking, RAD is another fantastic title coming out of Double Fine.

I’ve always loved the term “diminishing returns”, but I never thought I’d be thinking about it under the scope of nuclear devastation. I’ve seen the rubbles of Washington in Fallout 3, an irradiated sprawl of rubble and gore nests; I’ve seen the sandy Parademon-infested world of a Batman movie that will never release – both of these are horrifying scenarios that many of us can’t even begin to imagine. But what if the apocalypse happened twice?

Well, Double Fine’s charming roguelike RAD doesn’t attempt to answer that question much at all. Set in the world of the post-post-apocalypse, you’d think that the already devastated world would look like the mangled results of a one-off high-school pottery class than resembling an actual planet but, like I said, diminishing returns.

See, in Double Fine’s RAD, a colourful roguelike set in the post-post-apocalypse, there’s not much to show that the world has been ravaged not once, but twice nuclear means. The radioactive wasteland known as The Fallow may be doused in pools of acid that houses cutesy irradiated creatures, but who’s to say that isn’t just leftover from the firstapocalypse? Whatever the logistics of a double apocalypse are, one thing remains true: RAD’s ravaged world is a stunningly adorable comic-book interpretation that’s always interesting to explore.

Just because the world has seen an apocalyptic disaster twice, it doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful.

Continually impressive, the procedurally generated levels that house this game’s amiable enemies and treacherous challenges never feel like basic building blocks scattered together. Unlike the procedural generation found in games like Warframe, there’s a sense  that everything fits; every rock, acid pool, monster-infested cave and shop has its place. If – sorry, when – you die, you’ll have to start all over again, but then you’ll get to experience an all-new world, albeit with an identical aesthetic depending on what level you’re playing.

It’s variety that drives Double Fine’s roguelike out of the overflowing library of competitors and into the trophy cabinet alongside the greats. Each run will start similarly, even as you unlock new characters with unique starting quirks. As you explore through the game’s worlds and smash monsters to death with your trusty baseball bat, you’ll gain XP, level up and then mutate horrendously to gain new powers.

It’s the radical irradiated mutations that evolves RAD’s admittedly rudimentary combat into an ever-evolving sprawl of satisfying feedback, crunchy combos and intelligent design. Each mutation you unlock adds an interesting layer to combat, effectively forcing you to adapt how you both attack and defend throughout your run. With insane powers ranging from boomerang arms to spider babies, there’s always something new to keep you on your toes.

For those of you who love a challenge, Double Fine’s charming adventure is far from an easy game. With devious bosses, dastardly platforming challenges and that ever-so-engaging roguelike butt-kicking, RAD is another fantastic title coming out of Double Fine.

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