HomeReviews4.5/5 ReviewWRATH: Aeon of Ruin Review

WRATH: Aeon of Ruin Review

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WRATH: Aeon of Ruin is the latest from (deep breath) Fulqrum Publishing, 3D Realms, KillPixel Games and Slipgate Ironworks; a game that promises to take us right back to the early days of the FPS genre, when Doom was cutting edge and Quake was the new kid on the block.

Is the world today ready for a journey back to a time when games really just wanted to hurt you? With a classic look and a classic difficulty to contend with, let’s sally forth and see what we can see…

WRATH Aeon of Ruin review 1
Get ready to shoot your way through WRATH: Aeon of Ruin

I bet you’d like to know why we are having to fight from pretty much the first instance we load WRATH: Aeon of Ruin, wouldn’t you? Well, as always in a shooter, there is a good story to follow. We are Outlander. Not a, not the, just Outlander. Set adrift on the Ageless Sea, we find ourselves on the shores of a dying world, meeting a fellow dressed all in white, the Shepherd of Wayward Souls. Luckily he has a job for us – to kill the three remaining Guardians of the Old World. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I meet a strange fellow in the real world who wants me to commit murder, I tend to walk away, but game logic dictates that we will take on this mission. Starting with nothing but the clothes on our back and some harsh language, can we manage to survive this strange world?

Presentation of the game will be instantly familiar to those who were around playing games in the ‘90s. I immediately got Hexen vibes from WRATH: Aeon of Ruin, which was an ancient PS1 FPS, and the whole feel of the game is very like Quake – fast, twitchy, and bloody hard. 

Everything looks kinda polygonal as it did back in the day, but the most impressive thing is the fluidity of the camera and the movement that you have. Running through narrow corridors to large outdoor areas, there is always a new vista around the corner, and the way that the game looks is like wrapping yourself in a comfy blanket made of nostalgia. For those who are too young to remember the glory days, it looks old fashioned, but in a good way!

Sound is also very good with the music being worthy of a particular mention – it is really very good, as you’d expect from the creator of the music for Quake Champions and Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One. The rest of the sound effects are as you’d expect, from the booms of the various guns and swishes of the sword through to the “Ugh” sound when you take damage. It all works really well. 

WRATH Aeon of Ruin review 3
Inspired by the classics

So, gameplay is next to chat about, and here the story is equally impressive. There are various weapons to be found and collected as we explore, as well as artefacts that we can find and make use of. One thing I do like is the save system – you can save whenever you like, as long as you have a Soul Tether about your person. Assuming you’ve found one, then a simple press of the D-pad Up will save your progress and create a respawn fight. My top tip is not to actually press up in the middle of a big fight, as when you respawn you’ll be straight back into the combat. Ask me how I know…

The weapons included in WRATH: Aeon of Ruin are excellent, featuring not only returning staples like a shotgun (that takes about a week to reload, so don’t miss with your first shot!) though a mini gun type gun that shoots fangs at enemies, to finally a dirty great sword. This sword is actually the secret to making some of the bigger jumps in the game – if you hold down the LT, it charges up a dash attack, and if you do this and then start a jump over a chasm, it will propel you to the other side. Assuming you get the timing right, of course! It also comes in handy for close encounters, so picking the right weapon for the right situation is always a challenge. Usually the one with ammo is the right one. 

The enemies we meet are a varied bunch, with the blurb behind WRATH: Aeon of Ruin promising some fifteen unique types to have a crack at. These range from slow moving zombie types, via the most annoying little flying things that spit at you and refuse to stay still to be shot, up to massive creatures that take a lot of ammo to put down. With many different maps to explore as well, based around three different hub worlds, there are a lot of things to see and do, complemented by the obligatory secrets to find, chests to uncover, health and armour pickups to locate and – best of all – ammo to scavenge.

The enemies are reasonably smart, and you really need to develop eyes in the back of your head; while you are fighting one in front of you, others will sneak up behind and attempt to ruin your entire day. All in the all, the big takeaway from WRATH: Aeon of Ruin is that of the sheer relentless pace of the combat – you barely have a second to breathe, let alone plan an approach. 

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Probably best to shoot it…

It means that WRATH: Aeon of Ruin does more than challenge your shooting reflexes – it transports you back to a time when the world was at your feet. It is fast, furious, and flipping hard, and it is all the better for it. Sure, WRATH: Aeon of Ruin isn’t the best looking shooter out there, but that really isn’t the point – this is a love letter to the 1990s, and it should be one you are playing immediately. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Proper old school action - a real challenge
  • Moves so fast and the action is non stop
  • A love letter to the 90’s FPS genre
Cons:
  • Not the best looker
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Fulqrum Publishing
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC, PS4, PS5
  • Release date and price - 25 April 2024 | £24.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Proper old school action - a real challenge</li> <li>Moves so fast and the action is non stop</li> <li>A love letter to the 90’s FPS genre</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Not the best looker</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Fulqrum Publishing</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC, PS4, PS5 <li>Release date and price - 25 April 2024 | £24.99</li> </ul>WRATH: Aeon of Ruin Review
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