D/Generation HD Review (Xbox One)

If you love classic 1980s action films and secretive faulty experiments, then this is the game for you! D/Generation HD is a remake of the 1991 release across several platforms. Brave the perils of mad scientists and their mad mistakes and save the survivors of this in-game tragedy!

You start the game relaxing in your apartment in Paris when you get a phone call for a delivery job and off you go on your jet pack! You arrive on the roof of a building owned by “Genoq” and the fun begins. Right off the bat the game explains that you are in a tower owned by a research corporation and something has gone horribly wrong! The fun begins right away as you start to explore the tower. There are not a lot of storyline elements in this game but it is not built as a role-playing game. It sets up the story nicely and gives you bits and pieces of it along the way, along with several long narrative and dialog scenes with scientists and staff members you meet. If you are a story gamer there is enough there to get a great sense of the game. And if you aren’t, you don’t have to worry about skipping a bunch of script or video just to get back to solving puzzles and shooting lasers.

You play a courier tasked with delivering an urgent package to the company’s top researcher, Derrida. When interacting with survivors and reading messages on computers you learn that Derrida expects the package you’re carrying is the answer to their current problem. You also quickly learn the monsters on each level are genetic experiments. Who doesn’t love exploring a tower filled with genetically modified monsters? This, combined with the tower, the “super future” aspects (jet packs, laser guns, jumpsuits, etc), gives the game just the right amount of cheesy action movie fun!

There are survivors spread throughout the floors of the building that you can talk to, choose dialog options to ask questions, and then rescue them by escorting them to the nearest hallway. Each level has a new puzzle to solve in order to advance to the next level. The puzzles range from very obvious to very challenging, and are always entertaining.  Soon after the game starts you find grenade pickups and a laser gun. These can be used to kill the baddies, solve the puzzle, or neither, giving players the chance to decide how they want to pass each level. This kind of gameplay, which didn’t require players to go from point A to point B on a linear path, was ahead of its time and a big feat for a game made before video games became main stream. I know it is only a tiny aspect of choice, but credit where credit is due.

The controls are simple and mapped out well. Using grenades is the only thing I had to get the hang of. You have to be very close (too close for grenades) and you have to have a direct line of fire. It makes very little sense, but it works. The HUD looks great and gives you all kinds of info, IE steps taken, inventory, and the standard game HUD elements like health. The “narrator” dialog appears in text at the bottom of the screen and has a very text-based adventure feel. The problems I ran in to were, unfortunately, glitches. Several minutes in to the game I had four achievements pop up for rescuing a survivor, not rescuing a survivor, walking one thousand steps, and walking five thousand steps. The game also seems to restart you at random points when you die. The first few times I died due to trial and error with a particularly rude mutant and I came back at the start of the level. The next time, however, the game started all over, and continued to do so until I rebooted the game. I also kept getting random numbers of grenades. A pickup would give me three and then the same one on a restart would give me one. This could be on purpose, but it seems more like a glitch to me.

While the remake attached “HD” to the title of the new game, it kept the classic pixel graphics, which I love! Each level is presented as a floor of a building and framed in black. It has a very classic feel and brings back a lot of nostalgia if you ever played early 1990s video games. The on-screen characters move fluidly and naturally (not sliding along the floor), its easy to see the switches you need to hit for puzzles, the monsters are really unique, it all looks great. The music is perfect for a cyberpunk game, mixing dark tones with computerized frames to really make you feel the intensity and adrenaline you would be feeling had you entered a skyscraper filled with science-gone-wrong and you’re the only hero available, and it definitely has the feel of a cyberpunk, futuristic soundtrack. The sound effects are polished up a bit but still have that MIDI undertone, keeping the game in its true form.

The Final Verdict

D/Generation offers a lot of fun to any type of gamer and is a must-have for fans of cyberpunk, puzzles, and “old” style games. If I were to compare it to any modern games I’d call it a splice of Resident Evil and Portal. This game will have you sitting on the edge of your seat for hours having a ton of fun!

+ Nostalgic game play
+ Fun puzzles
+ Excellent story

– Glitches galore

Final Score: 7/10

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