It's unfortunate more studios don't try to bank on making knockoff versions of games. There have been some high quality ones like Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas which tried to replicate the handheld Zelda titles, The Simpsons Road Rage which tried to replicate Crazy Taxi, and Fortnite which utterly destroyed any ealry comparisons and controversy to PUBG. Licensing issues and lawsuits aside, it's great to love a certain game's style and have another option to hopefully continue the experience somewhat. For every one great and successful ripoff, there are dozens of failures. Gene Rain is a 3D science-fiction, third-person shooter in the same vein as Gears of War (kind of). It features a story so confusing and lackluster, that Gears of War Judgement's story feels like a masterpiece.
The game can be bought on PlayStation Store for your regional pricing.
I'm not sure if there really is a story to get out of the game, but for context the word of Gene Rain takes place some decades in the future. There was a world-wide event known as the Gene Rain that divided factions into race-like categories which include humans, robots, and hybrids. War and chaos runs rampant, and through the acts of several people it is hopeful that peace can be instilled back into the world. The characters you play as are forgettable, and the overall story is annoyingly confusing. On paper this idea of factions waring makes sense, but the constant jumping between characters and remembering their significance and backstory is difficult to follow. The ending has a cliffhanger that feels unwarranted and dissappointing after being dragged through the mud the whole time.
While the story was bad, the gameplay was mildly better. Shooting robots and bad guys up in third person is hard to not enjoy. Most of the action will take place behind cover, and although cover based games are controversial for coddling players through combat, it felt like it was not forced upon playing that way all the time. Most enemies can be taken down relatively quickly, and very rarely will you have more then a handful coming at you at once. The bosses however will make you think twice before leaving cover to move about or take shots. Giant sized mechs will carry an arsenal capable of annihilating you, but playing smart and shooting key areas of their body will keep these fights from feeling prolonged.
The entire game is broken up into chapters, and for the most part it will be about getting from one point to another while killing everything in your path. Occasionally you'll be tasked with small objectives to help you traverse obstacles, but nothing that requires brainpower or genuine interest. Character movements feel a bit clunky but that can be overlooked easily as the soldiers are always geared up for combat. What is unjustifiably clunky though is the shooting. Far too often I felt unable to aim at my intended target. Shooting explosive barrels is challenged by the auto aiming feature that drags away the reticle.If enemies get too close, especially the little spider looking ones on the ground, players may struggle to drag their sights from one awakwardly distanced attacker to the next.
Sound and Graphics
As horrible as the story feels, it could have been somewhat ok had there been a bit more effort put into the voice acting and telling the backstory. I've played games with horrible stories that still made me feel connected to the world and characters (Dragon Age: Origins). The voice acting here is horrible and borderlines pathetic in many instances. The world is empty asides from the variously and harshly cut and paste covers to hide behind. If you take a closer look at the environment though, textures are horribly done. Walking up to a wall and seeing how last-gen the textures look was dissappointing. Sure, the developers are not AAA, but when the scope of the game is "next-gen science fiction shooter" then expectations should be somewhat high.
I applaud Gene Rain for allowing me to play a Gears of War inspired title on PlayStation, but the reality is that the game is just not worth the time or energy to embrace. It fails to deliver a comprehensible story. I'm not a lore ethusiast for games but, it was hard for me to grasp many reasons for my objectives throughout the title. Having most of it delivered in flashbacks aided somewhat in the big picture, but a game should suck you in with the characters, their personal development, and climactic points throughout their adventures. The truth is Gene Rain couldn't deliver on any of those, and this is only worsened by poor voice acting and a world with partially complete textures and little to no assets to build immersion. Players are better off spending their time in Warframe or Mass Effect: Andromeda.
|+ Gears of War style on PS4||– Horrible story with few sensable points|
|– Incomplete textures|
|– Unpolished gameplay mechancis|
|– Poor shooting system|