Arcade gaming has always been popular. However, more recently there has been an upsurge of classic titles hitting the market. Thanks to Atari’s Recharged series, older and younger gamers can enjoy the early 80s titles. I’ve loved every game in this series, so I had high hopes for Gravitar: Recharged.
Developed by Adamvision Studios and SneakyBox, and published by Atari, this is an arcade shooter. It captures the masterful mechanics of the original, but it has a modern aesthetic, smooth gameplay, and plenty of new challenges to overcome. What’s more, it can be played solo and cooperatively, and this makes it better still.
Gravitar: Recharged tells a sci-fi tale.
You are a lone pilot light-years from home who must navigate uncharted territories. Consequently, you must stay alert as you leap from solar system to solar system. With deadly aliens, awful traps, and gravity to battle, you will be tested to your limits. Sadly, there is no backup or reinforcements to call upon. Therefore, it is you and your vessel against a mysterious and aggressive alien foe.
Wow, the 80s knew how to write a dramatic story. Yet, it plays second fiddle to the action that unfolds. You must complete a small selection of missions as you investigate each solar system. These comprise intel runs, all-out warfare, destruction of property, and more. Whatever your mission, gravity will hold you back! Why? You may think. Well, every planet’s gravitational pull is different. Subsequently, you must use all your skills to fly past every obstacle. In theory, it should be easy. In reality, it’ll drive you mad. You’ll fly into rocks, fall down into crevices, and make repeated errors. Yet, you’ll adore the madness and the tough action.
Challenges, oh so many challenges.
The core concept reflects the original game’s ideas. But, Gravitar: Recharged ups the ante. With an array of challenges and gameplay-altering options, you are in for a treat. Yes, the mechanics are similar, but you have a distinct goal to achieve. Now, I found this rigid approach much more rewarding. It was pleasant to have a task to work towards, rather than aiming for a high score. What’s more, when working with a friend, it felt more tactical.
If you are a purist, you’ll adore the arcade action. This is because it is fast-paced, true to the original format, and it contains more surprises. However, I enjoyed the goal-based focus of the challenge mode. Alongside this, pushing myself to complete each of the 24 missions was tough. Luckily, though, I was helped by some OTT weapon upgrades.
A Recharged game would be nothing without power-ups. Fortunately, Gravitar: Recharged keeps up this tradition. With EMP grenades, homing missiles, tractor beams and more, you’ll annihilate your foes. These timed weapon boosts are key to your success, but so is your fuel. Canisters containing fuel are dotted around every planet. If you fail to collect them, you can kiss goodbye to that run. Annoyingly, the aliens love to destroy your supply, so be quick before they ruin your life.
Gravitar: Recharged looks great.
What I love about the Recharged series is the modern take on a classic look. Gravitar: Recharged is no exception, as it looks great. Underneath, it retains its classic old-school charm. However, its neon-infused vehicles and bright and clean-cut environments bring it right up to date. What’s more, it runs perfectly with no frame rate drops or stuttering.
What’s also amazing is the eerie sci-fi audio. The haunting yet calm music is at odds with the hellish battles. Alongside this, the sound effects are varied, loud, and match the theme. The noise of laser beams, explosions, and sirens punctuates the serene soundtrack. This was phenomenal, as it adds energy to the hectic encounters.
Simple arcade controls.
Though much of Gravitar: Recharged has been modernised, the controls are not. Subsequently, focusing on the retro arcade approach was absolutely right. What’s more, they are responsive and their simplicity makes it easy to play.
The original was addictive and unsurprisingly, Gravitar: Recharged is as well. Its fast-paced action, tricky flying and challenging missions make it a winner. Combine this with the cooperative gameplay, and leaderboards to top, and you get the perfect mix. Furthermore, it can be tackled casually, and that’s always a good thing.
Gravitar: Recharged is a modern classic.
Arcade gaming will never get old. Consequently, Gravitar: Recharged is a modern classic. It captures the essence of the original while polishing it for a younger audience. Veterans and newcomers will adore its sci-fi action and challenging ways. For these reasons, I recommend you to buy it here! Can you complete your mission, defeat the aliens, and return home? Well, who knows? But, if you can’t, no one will save you.