Re:Turn2 – Runaway picks up right where Re:Turn – One Way Trip leaves off and has you playing as Saki tries to escape a ghost infested train. Red Ego Games have made a wonderfully compelling mix of pixel-art and anime art with this beautifully eerie sequel. The inclusion of voice acting, improvements to animation and a psychological horror setting make it a game worth checking out. The puzzle-adventure format combined with a ‘soulsborne’ like brutality (be prepared to save whenever you get an option to and die a lot when the monsters catch you) blend perfectly with a tense, well written storyline.
Don’t be put off by the fact this is a sequel. I regret that Re:Turn – One Way Trip never made it into my queue but when Re:Turn2 – Runaway starts you get a handy, narrated introduction from the main character to give you the highlights of what happened. The voice acting can be a little over-the-top at times but overall, it’s well done. What we learn is that the ghost is still very much present, has possessed or corrupted the main character’s fiancé and now they need to escape all while a monster stalks the corridors of the derelict and creepy train from the first game.
The focus of the game is the puzzles and the side-scrolling 2D nature lends itself perfectly to this style. Icons will appear when you can carry out an action (these are fairly limited such as searching and hiding. In addition, our heroine, Saki, can also dodge and hide. There is no health bar, but the game does employ a stamina bar. When confronted by the monster, however, it is an instant kill and restart from the last save point. The game also employs an inventory system where you can store the random items you come across. Those familiar with puzzle-adventure games will be used to this. I am always fond combining seemingly unrelated items to uncover the next puzzle or access the next stage. While this works well, some solutions are bizarre and not something you would logically pick so try everything! My only nit-pick with this is the inability to equip any items. I found myself opening my inventory and trying all the items rather than a quick-equip/change mechanic. Not a game-breaker but it certainly spoils the pacing of the atmospheric, horror story.
Issues with Re:Turn2 – Runaway
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t without issues. The dodge mechanic rarely works (and even when it does you can never seem to hide from the monsters). This makes this aspect very frustrating and unsatisfying. I played the PC version and for the first few attempts of loading it up my antivirus software blocked it. I’m sure it was a false positive, but still an annoying way to begin. My next bug occurred when you exit the train – the screen went black but instead of a cutscene I got nothing. I could open the menu and my inventory but nothing else happened.
When you get the game to work Red Ego have made significant improvements on the franchise’s first outing. The voice acting, storyline and artwork are all wonderful. Just be careful of the bugs… and monsters.