Gene Rain review for PS4, Xbox One


Platform: PS4
Also On: PC, Xbox One
Publisher: Deeli Network Technology
Developer: Deeli Network Technology
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

If I were judging Gene Rain solely by its gameplay, the short version of my review would be something like, “Think of Gears of War. Now imagine its very cheaply-made Chinese knock-off. That, in a nutshell, is Gene Rain.”

While that summary certainly describes Gene Rain, it doesn’t come anywhere close to conveying the bizarre insanity that awaits anyone who boots it up. For that, I present you with one of the in-game hints:

“After buying weapons in the weapons box, there will be mechanical birds transporting weapons to the current supply area, blasting mechanical birds, and weapons hidden in the belly of mechanical birds. The supply areas in some areas are relatively hidden, and note the yellow arrows in the scene.”

Overly wordy, to the point that there’s no way you’ll be able to read it in the time the text appears on screen? Check. Moderately incomprehensible? Check. Reading like it was put through an early, broken version of Google Translate? Definitely check.

Moments like that aren’t just scattered throughout the game, they are the game. Right from the get-go — when the opening cutscene first tells you some possibly related events took place thirty years ago, then changes that to fifteen years ago, then changes it again to 20 years ago — it’s clear that Gene Rain’s plot isn’t so much a story as a bunch of random scenes thrown together.

On top of the disjointed storyline, there are all the weird and clunky translations waiting for you at every turn. There are odd turns of phrase, like “Cut the cackle!” and “How chould this be?” There are strange in-game instructions, like “Take close the upgrade panel” (when you’re supposed to walk to a computer) and “Pull putter” (when you’re supposed to pull a handle). And, of course, there are options that you need to click on to understand; my favourite was “Auxiliary Collimation” (aim assist, naturally), though “Operation Hints” (for controls) wasn’t too far behind.

To be clear, Gene Rain isn’t bad just because of these terrible translations. Rather, the terrible translations only add to the feeling that you’re playing a cheap knock-off of a much better game — in this case, Gears of War. The bulk of what you’ll experience here is lifted straight from Microsoft’s shooter, in that you’re fighting alien invaders via lots of cover-based shooting, except it’s not lifted particularly well. The characters are rigid and stiff; running is a chore, and shooting at enemies while you’re in cover is a bit of a pain, since your range of motion is pretty limited.

As I said, though, by itself, Gene Rain’s gameplay is only bad. Factor in plot, dialogue, and instructions that barely make sense at the best of times, and you’ve got a recipe for a genuinely terrible game — albeit one that will undoubtedly delight bad game connoisseurs.

Deeli Network Technology provided us with a Gene Rain PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: D-