It’s rare for me to feel much of a connection to a procedurally generated world but there’s been an exception recently – Receiver.

From the site:

Receiver was created for the 7-day FPS challenge to explore gun handling mechanics, randomized levels, and unordered storytelling. Armed only with a Colt 1911 A1 and an audiocassette player, you must uncover the secrets of the Mindkill in a building complex infested with automated turrets and hovering shock drones.

2013-08-24_00001I get a distinctly Blade Runner vibe from it that is rather entrancing. Wandering through apartments in the complex, firearm in hand, it’s lonely. For once it’s not the bad kind of lonely though – it’s more of a survival thing. There’s just me so I’d better do my best to survive and see things through.

That’s not really what goes through my mind whilst playing though, it’s more an attempt to describe my emotional state whilst playing. I’m rarely frightened but occasionally startled. It’s thrilling.

What stands out to me is the way the story is conveyed. Rather than feeling like I’m playing multiple instances of the same character there’s something else. It’s something I’ve not felt in a video game before, to the best of my knowledge. I think ZombiU does it but I’ve not had the slightest urge to play it and so am not counting it.

Ah, yes, the mechanic in question is feeling like each time I start a game I’m playing as a different person. The previous character didn’t make it. Between all of us maybe a few will piece things together and make it through. Maybe this attempt will be one of them, we’ll see.

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Lastly there’s the unusually precise weapon mechanics. Handguns are operated properly – reloading requires ejecting the magazine, holstering the weapon, inserting new bullets into the magazine, retrieving the gun, inserting the magazine, and racking the slide. Each of those requires a key press. It quickly becomes routine and straightforward but I love that I can check to see whether there’s a round in the chamber by holding T and racking the slide.

I paid £2.39 for it in the July Steam sale. Not bad at all. Give it a go.

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