The best-selling steam shooter ready or not is a dystopian SWAT simulator

A SWAT police officer prepares to enter a room seen between the legs of another person.

Picture: Interactive Vacuum

Ready or Not is a tactical horror game where you weave your way through the sprawling labyrinths of American decadence in search of violent suspects in the midst of curled up passers-by. To smoke currently love him, but after spending a few hours with it, I can’t say yes. At best, it’s a beautifully tense puzzle game punctuated by heated shootouts, but it’s also a violent political fantasy with no capacity for self-interrogation.

Developed by Void Interactive, based in New Zealand, Ready or Not Puts you in the shoes of American law enforcement charged with “bringing order to the chaos” of a failed state torn apart by economic stratification and crime. Your pacification tools include assault rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, and of course, an endless supply of military grade zippers.

Deployed in slum areas, car dealerships and gas stations, your job is to methodically navigate and clear maze-sized levels until all the bad guys are either in custody or dead. If you do not run each encounter according to the proper rules of engagement, you will be reprimanded with failure scores at the end of each level as a bad score in Dance Dance Revolution.

SWAT officers prepare to enter a room lit by a green light.

Picture: Interactive Vacuum

Even before it blows up on Steam, Ready or Not sparked controversy, and lost its editor, after one of its developers apparently re-committed to adding a school shooting level. Players on the game’s Discord fantasized about the equipment they would use to hunt down the shooter in this potential scenario. Void Interactive finally weighed to reassure everyone it would handle such traumatic content with care, but after playing a handful of existing cards in the game, I’m dubious.

Ready or Not looks more like a game of MouseTrap than a part of Call of Duty. You’ll spend more time looking for traps around the doors than spraying and praying, leaving behind a trail of chemical lights to mark where you’ve been before. Eventually, you’ll come across some NPCs who won’t surrender, and instead fire weapons and begin to enlighten you with a superhuman fury. Matrix agent. Hence the fear and apprehension with which you and the rest of your team, annoying AI companions if you are playing solo or other players if you are online, make your way through the labs. of methamphetamine “affordable housing” and the besieged hotel.

It’s an incredibly evocative combo, helped in part by detailed sonic cues and the eerie ambient drum of the electronic soundtrack, which is handled with all the care of a toddler running with scissors. Ready or NotThe realism of is effective enough to disturb, but too shallow not to fall into farce, or worse, the Blue Lives Matter cosplay with fascist overtones and right-wing dog whistles.

A trash can contains a discarded box for red pills with "Noggin jogging pants" written on the side.

Screenshot: Interactive Vacuum

An Easter Egg in the game’s starting headquarters area consists of a box of “red tablets” thrown in a trash can with the words “Noggin Joggers” on the side, which some have interpreted as 4chan-speak for the N word (Void Interactive did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify the intended meaning). Elsewhere, a box of vitamin D supplements for “Bonor Health” from “Whore Foods” sits on a table next to spare ammunition, while another box of vitamins. refers to the meme Pepe. There’s also the now infamous “Anal Staircase” panel from one of the game’s older trailers that belongs to a next level of sex club.

Random passers-by have only a few recorded lines that they’ll bark at you at the moment, one of which is, “My mom has a Mexican maid, you might know her.” “There is already a”Mute Cringey Voice Lines”Mod to remove it, although Void Interactive has announced that it also plans to replace it in a later update. Then there is the ideology of law and order that frames the rest of the game. America is on the brink. Crime is at an all time high. It cannot be fixed, only overpowered. The game trains you to fear everyone you meet, not as a commentary but as a wish fulfillment, and seemingly without any awareness of the nation’s recent calculation. with an epidemic of police murders.

A girl is lying in her bed in a messy room with pink walls.

Picture: Interactive Vacuum

Amidst these disorienting tonal changes, which range from juvenile to overtly racist, there are some incredibly dark moments like when you meet a child writhing in pain in their pink bedroom. “Civilian injured clear and ready for evacuation,” your SWAT officer says in his RoboCop voice. Whether it is because Ready or Not remains an incredibly straightforward early access game or because Void Interactive lacks sophistication it makes the whole thing crude and exploitative.

It didn’t stop Ready or Die to receive a flood of positive user reviews praising the game on Steam. Some probably because they see in it the seeds of a faithful successor to the old TO CRUSH Games, and therefore a return to the genre of slow, tactical, and claustrophobic shooter that even games like Rainbow Six Siege have mostly given up. Others probably because of the way it drapes this gameplay in the cult of strongman cops (there are no policewomen in the game yet) and provides a neat and orderly way to counter a system of violence with another.

This fantasy doesn’t come cheap, however, in real life or on Steam. Ready or NotThe beta version currently costs $ 40 to participate, while a Supporter Special Edition costs double. It’s impossible to make a final judgment on a game that feels more unfinished than otherwise, but so far it’s not shaping up to be the kind of game I would trust to handle the simulated massacre in the city. ‘school.

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