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Yar’s Revenge Review

It’s not very often that I’ve never heard of an old game like Yar’s Revenge. A remake of the original game for the Atari 2600, this iteration bears little resemblance to the original though. While we do have modern graphics and controls to thank for that, the game itself plays very differently. Yar’s Revenge is a very simple twin-stick shooter, however, you’re not viewing everything from a fixed angle like in most games of this type. Instead, the camera is placed behind you as you fly through the levels, constantly switching from one viewpoint to the other. While the standards set by this type of game aren’t incredibly high, Yars Revenge does virtually nothing to add to the overall experience provided by this type of game.

Let’s start with the story, the titular Yar is now some sort of female warrior wearing a pretty cool looking suit of power armour. The entire story is delivered through silent, picture scrolling cut scenes that fall flat the minute they begin. The lack of any voice talent is baffling here, due to how hollow the plot is anyway, this comes across as being incredibly lazy. You battle your way through six levels in the campaign, all of which can be played cooperatively and have several modes of difficulty.

The gameplay in Yars Revenge is perhaps the biggest problem with the game, while there isn’t a single thing about it that is objectively bad (the camera can get annoying though), it’s just a pretty boring game from beginning to end.  You have a pretty standard array of weapons; you’ve got a basic pea-shooter, a lock on missile launcher and a charge up cannon that can kill multiple enemies at once. There are also some temporary powerups that can charge your shields or increase the power of basic weapon amongst other things. These are mapped to the face buttons, which works really well due to how the controls are set out. The controls are perfectly functional and responsive, and the game is never cheap or unfair. However, the game never takes full advantage of anything that it has at its disposal. The boss fights are a perfect example of this, they showcase great design and balance, but they’re executed in such a bland fashion they just feel like fighting a regular enemy that has tons more health.


Even the screenshots look boring

Objectively describing something as boring is extremely difficult, but Yar’s Revenge is just a pretty boring game. This is a real shame because how solid its core mechanics are. Even the extra modes you unlock do little to enhance the core experience. Yar’s Revenge comes across as a game with absolutely no ambition behind it. Everything about it is just as competent as it is bland, with seemingly no effort being put into making the game fun to play. Just playing it safe at every turn and ultimately ruining the main reason of why these types of games keep you coming back time and time again.

It really is a shame that a game as solid as Yar’s Revenge is totally bland and uninteresting. The shooting feels hollow, the enemies feel like they were generated by some “create an enemy” mod and the game just feels pointless. With no sense of ambition behind it, the entire game will just bounce off you. Unless you feel an uncontrollable urge to play this game based on whatever you may or may not have heard, Yars Revenge contains nothing that hasn’t been done significantly better elsewhere and if you have experience anything even remotely similar, odds are that was a much better game.





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