Desync Review – Is It Worth Buying? ($15)

I’ve played many first-person shooters throughout my gaming career and have attempted to enjoy my time with all of them. Right now I’ve been given the opportunity to have some fun with Desync [official site], a neon arcade shooter with a thirst for stylish kills and difficult levels. Is it worth buying?

If you asked me to sum up Desync with a mere few words, I would tell you to just play it and decide for yourself, because it all comes down to how much of a hardcore fast-paced FPS fan you are, and if you like the art style that the screenshots present. Obviously I can’t just say that though, because this is a review site and I have a job to do.

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Let’s start by saying that the game is a new take on an old genre, but it isn’t really new. As I said above, it’s a neon arcade shooter; arcade is the focus point there. I’ll go ahead and assume that everyone reading this has played some arcade games in their time, be they the $1-5 titles you can grab on Steam or those machines you can use for one round for $2 at your nearest arcade store. Desync is like those games, except it’s $15.

You enter the game’s wave-based levels, advancing through the rooms, performing stunt kills on your polygonal enemies and trying not to die. This might sound easy, but trust me, it is far from it. Enemies appear in the rooms as you play, many of them popping up behind you, and when you are not expecting them you can easily be overwhelmed. You have a few weapons and abilities and even more that you can earn and purchase in the game’s hub menu to assist you, which is very helpful, but it doesn’t stop the challenge. You’ll always have to look out for sneaky flankers and baddies attacking you from behind.

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There is a decent collection of different levels which you can unlock and pop into to clear out enemies and try to get the highest score, which you can do by 360-no-scoping, killing fellas without receiving damage by them, launching bad guys into traps and defeating them in other stylish ways.

I have struggled a bit with the abstract maps and HUD, to the point where I lose my bearings completely and can’t focus. There is a lot going on at once, and reading and keeping track of my reloads and ammo count whilst trying to figure out where I am and where my enemies are and what best way to kill them, adds to the overwhelm. Over time I have gotten better and these issues have gotten easier to manage, but there are still times when I let my guard down whilst trying to figure out when to reload and it has resulted in my imminent death, to be reset back to the previous room.

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Nevertheless, I’ve spent a good few hours on the game and it has been quite enjoyable. Desync is nothing new, though, and I could get just as much, if not more amusement and frustration out of Blood and Bacon for a buck. $15 is a stretch, I would only recommend this game at half price or less.

👎 Desync is NOT worth the US$15 it is available for.
This review is for the PC version of the game — any other devices may play differently.