Rez HD Reader Review


My my, but Rez HD is a deliciously distilled spoonful of gaming gravy, like a neon lit, high hat and bass ridden palimpsest of every electronica drenched scene from every film of the 80s that featured a gaming arcade, or an amped up speed run through a night time Shinjuku ruled by a nihonese Maria from Metropolis.

It speaks to you in a Chomskian deep grammar's gaming shorthand that suggests Mizuguchi himself has carried you off in a cybernetically enhanced semi to a lab where quiet and efficient white coats have spliced your seratonin receptors to a gently humming machine that drip feeds you rich, chocolatey, hallucination inducing theta waves.

It's also proven to be a cultural anchor point, pivoting the ship of gaming onto a new course as it seeps into the dreams of a generation of creative talent, even as it starkly highlights the crudity borne of the necessary evil of large teams of specialists frantically polishing asset rich interactive experiences to a sheen so blinding the player might miss the gaps where the music, the narrative, the graphics, the control and the tactile feedback somehow fail to form a cohesive, immersive whole.

In a world borne anew in the clean, white light of the Wii, where a wider audience than ever is being introduced to the idea that simple interactive experiences can be worthwhile, Rez could be the poster child beckoning the dark eyed, hunched figures of the core gaming audience with its pure polygon finger. A demonstration that there's an orthogonality between the bright, elevator jazz imbued lobbies filled with emotive cartoon Miis that Nintendo has been fashioning and the worlds where apexing the next bump mapped rumble strip leads you face to face with the specular reflections from the lovingly modelled AKS-74U, its tension spring expanding and collapsing as an anonymous polygon rich cipher empties its magazine of individually modelled 5.45mm rounds at the player.

The seemingly simple inclusion of rumble support for extra controllers speaks volumes for the mindset of the developers, nestled in their Q ship. As they ply the more traditional gaming lanes, they bring with them a subtly subversive idea, that perhaps there's more to this form of play than the solitary, single minded focus of direct avatar control. Perhaps, nestled on the sofa with friends, false dawn bleeding through curtain gaps, discarded chewing gum wrappers and isotonic sports drinks littering the carpet, Rez could be a simple shared experience. All its shorthand simplicity driving us towards a more basic, animalistic bonding. A throbbing, chrome camp fire high for the 21st century.

10 / 10

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