When I first went to run ROOT (published by Deep Fried Enterprises) my PC's safeguard decided not to let me because of the game's name. My PC security thought that it was a virus attempting to reach my ROOT directory. Instead of being a virus it is an action-adventure game where you are actually trying to break into a computer and find its ROOT.
The first thing you are told is that ROOT is a very complicated game to play and so you really, really should play the tutorial. I have to say that having played through the tutorial it really isn't a complicated game, well not as far as all the sequences you have to go through without actually learning anything.
Movement is WASD, peering round corners is either Q or E. Opening doors is F. [Space] bar allows you to jump, [Ctrl] lets youi crouch and [Tab} lets move sneakily when you are also holding down WAS or D. Be aware that when you start to sneak, even if you are holding down the [Tab] as required you may still run a few steps into the room or wherever first - so make sure there are no guards around when you start the move.
So you begin in a room that doesn't do anything to help your eyesight - it's a large squared room in which the squares are grey but their borders are stark white. There is a blue door facing you and you can get through this easily. over a hump under a low ceiling and into another room where there are two new doors plus a door key card. One of the doors is orange but has a yellow frame. Doors with yellow frames do not open, ever apparen tly. The key card opens the red door and once inside the room has a number of pedestals with bright green or red items on them. You can learn to shoot here, though when the game begins you do not have a gum. You do have a billy-club but it's of little use against a security guard unless you can sneak up behind the guards and club him over the head. Unfortunately you cannot search the guard once he is down so there is still no gun for you -I'm sure you'll get one later.
There isn't a lot to garner about the root of the story from the game itself and I haven't watched the video on the website as I wanted to be able to write from my experiences not from someone elses. The game is like being inside a giant Network system, which is good because that's where you are as far as I can make out as I have no paper work and at this moment I cannot even find anything on the internet about it except for the link I have hidden skillfully on this page. It is an unusual take on the first person actioner although many of the controls will, as you've already seen, be familiar to you. Shooting, when you get that elusive gun, is a matter of pointing the onscreen aiming dot at something and left clicking the mouse button. In practice during the tutorial you get to shoot a lot of inanimate objects but I did find that if your aiming dot was just slightly off being full on the target then your shot would miss, there didn't seem to be any nicking or grazing.
At present I haven't got very far into the maze of wireframe corridors but I have discovered I cannot outr un a guardian. Once they see me I am dead, wonder if I had held onto that cola bottle they would be distracted by me throwing it to one side? They didn't seem to be when I tried that earlier, throwing the can noisily (well I hoped it would be) down one side of the split wall while I went the other, the guard was still in position after all my what I thought were clever efforts. You can be sneaky on this first guard and either go past him without making a noise or you can tiptoe up and hit him with your club - base and back of the neck only. All the other guards I have encountered have always been facing me, even when I tried going round the other direction, and once they see you and move towards you there is no getting around them to hit them with your billy-club. Hitting them from the front while they are shooting you is futile.
So my first venture came to the same conclusion as my second, third, fourth and a few more trips. I died ! ROOT is intriguing though and it is definitely a game I will return to when I have more than just a few minutes spare and want to play a game where I need to really think about defeating the puzzles. Occasionally brute force and ignorance gets you through but only occasionally. Stealth and planning seem to be the main order of the day.
Definitely one to keep an eye on. Available on the PC using the STEAM media.
Here's the press release about ROOT
ROOT SNEAKS PAST THE GUARDS & LANDS A CLEAN HEADSHOT ON STEAM
HARDCORE, STYLIZED, PLAY HOW YOU WANT, CYBER ESPIONAGE THEMED FPS
“I spent a great deal of time making sure that all of the levels could be played both entirely with stealth or aggressively depending on how the player wants, so if you're good at one but not the other you can still enjoy the game. For the best experience though you definitely want to play with a mix of the two. There's just something really satisfying about taking out a room full of enemies and then slipping away just as some more come to investigate.”
“Most games try very hard to make you feel like a badass, without ever having you put the effort in yourself. In ROOT we give you the tools you need to press through the obstacles at hand. But you have to be careful or become skilled. Both of these things take time and patience, so when you do finally reach your victory you earned it, and it's something you can genuinely be proud of.”
-Harrison Tucker, Deep Fried Enterprises Level Designer
/// ROOT LAUNCH TRAILER ///
Step into the inexpensive loafers of expert hacker Edward Summerton. Roll up your sleeves, pop your collar and brew a pot of coffee, because today you're going to breach the networks of a mysterious and powerful corporation.
During this undertaking of corporate crypto-espionage you will face many hostile programs, but your most dangerous enemy is the man who designed them. The Systems Administrator built the System from the ground up and holds immense power within the network. He will use the limitless resources at his disposal to prevent you from achieving your goal: total ROOT access to the System
/// Accurate Guns ///
Your crosshair is literally a dot. No reticule bloom, no accuracy cones, no B.S. Your shot lands where the cursor points.
/// Real Stealth ///
No "crouch for invisibility," you must tread softly and check your corners.
/// Boss Fights ///
Be prepared for tough, end of level fights. Only truly dangerous enemies are satisfying to defeat.
/// Interactive Environment ///
Objects can be moved, shot, shattered, picked up and thrown.
/// Adjustable Abstract Visuals ///
The inside of a computer is not what you expect. Complete with adjustable color.
/// Old School Mentality ///
This is a game, not a movie. You are in control of all your actions. No QTEs or long animated cut scenes.
/// Vaguely Witty Dialogue [On/Off] ///
Listen to your companion, SHELL, ramble on about various things, which may or may not pertain to the story arc. Don't care what he has to say? Just turn off dialogue in the options menu.
ROOT launched today on Steam, Humble Store and other digital distribution channels for Windows PC, Mac and Linux with a 20% discount off of its $9.99 SRP.