Iji Review: An Indie Game by Daniel Remar

Iji

A couple times within the scope of the year or so in just about any given media, a storyline takes place with a post-apocalyptic tone which preserves humanity as much as possible through a combined struggle. “Iji,” made by Daniel Remar, is anything but, as the role of saving an insignificant earth from a deadly race relies on luck, and a slowly-changing young woman thrown into very deadly situation. “Iji” starts as the game’s namesake enjoys a lovely walk through her father’s workplace at a research facility with her sister… when all hell breaks loose with orbital strikes. When she comes to, her brother and only human contact, Dan, serves as a handler and lack of moral compass as the story slowly unfolds; aliens known as the Tasen brought about the Armageddon, and Iji’s body was heavily damaged. Given cybernetic components from leftover technology from a race long past, Iji takes her nanogun and takes it to the invaders…. or not.

The gameplay is relative based on your actions throughout the game. Blazing your way through the remaining sectors as a aggressor or pacifist is completely up to you, as the game provides upgrades and abilities to do either; by collecting blue nano bubbles, leveling brings about improvements through the several different consoles; from Attack and Assimilate to enhance damage and ammo, to Crack and Strength, which allow for less lethal solutions through disabling weapon systems and kicking opponents out of harm’s path instead of wanton fire-powered death and destruction. The game’s storyline, as well as Iji’s character development, plays to that style as only certain bosses absolutely have to die. It’s all up the player. Yet, while this game provides a very immense setting and plenty of significant (and rather humorous, at times) expansion, it leaves the game open for a lot more, when the fate of the human race seems quite set in stone during the first couple stages.

Iji

For such a well-developed game, it’s graphics are as descriptive as they are simple, reminding a player of the earlier, story-driven and suspenseful days of “Flashback” and “Out of This World,” complete with a feel for the exploration-heavy action games such as “Bioshock.” The arrangements are upbeat and emotionally-charged in all respects, only adding to the very horrifying and deadly environment Iji is now surviving within. I recommend this game, but as a fair bit of warning: Don’t expect an easy ride, and make sure you play it more than once.

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The Pros:

- An engaging storyline that explores family, war, and an enclosed setting where the fate of the world is unknown.
- Impressive stat system and abilities, considering the fact that the controls are so simple.
- Killer Soundtrack. ‘Nugh said.
- “Out of This World”-graphics provide old-school factor combined with pretty explosions.
- More secrets than “Dynamite Heady” will keep you coming back for more.

The Cons:

- Hard, even on Easy difficulty. Missiles flying, more weapons than Health, Instant-Kill attacks. Not for the casual gamer.
- Lack of purpose for the second antagonists, and their appearance in the second act, besides “GUAH, KILL = FUN!”..individuals, on the other hand…
- Very loud sounds and music. Daniel, consider a volume control, please. For those who love to play while on Skype. Be a team player.
- Not much chance for a sequel. Ended a world with a lot of potential, due to the ending.
- Pacifist runs aren’t nearly as fun. I’d kill for a Stunner instead of a Shotgun….and I’m not even allowed to kill. GAH.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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