Deadcore, also known as Standalone-Defrag

There is a direction in the subculture called Quake, called defrag. Roughly speaking, it is speedrunning. The essence of this game is to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, using strafing, rocket jumps, and other movement techniques of the cult shooter. Special maps with clever “racing architecture” are built for this purpose; a close-to-perfect run on such a map can take about fifteen seconds, but to achieve such a result, you need to spend months honing your strafing-jumping-other skills, and spend just as much time on training “races”.

As you can probably guess, this entertainment is very hardcore, it cannot boast a large circle of followers and is not commercially developed at all. Maps are made, tournaments are held, and records are set purely out of enthusiasm.

But on the one hand, nowadays we are in the season of gaming prosperity with plenty of niche entertainment for everyone, and on the other hand, Portal showed a decent time ago that an FPS puzzle game is a viable idea if done right. Therefore, welcome to Deadcore.

A thrilling ascent in a futuristic world

Deadcore is a techno-purification facility, consisting of half platforms with lasers and half of the same defrag. Fortunately, no one and nothing personally chases you here (except for occasional timers), and you can jump through levels at your own pleasure, without paying attention to someone’s optimal completion time.

In addition to the standard defrag elements, the mandatory program also includes occasional accuracy tests, gravity jokes, and scattered secret corners throughout the levels.

Of course, the player won’t immediately dive into deep hardcore. At first, Deadcore will show in general terms what is happening in its world. However, the difficulty curve quickly rises, and no one will forgive mistakes on the track. You can only roughly feel the local hitboxes by getting bumps and starting over from checkpoints multiple times.

By the way, checkpoints are not placed so often. Usually, the player needs to perform about four or five acrobatic maneuvers from one intermediate finish to another. And, as it has been since the beginning of time, somewhere towards the end of the block, there will definitely be a jump that can only be overcome after ten attempts. Each time, after jumping through the entire remaining section, yeah.

Exploring the challenging environment

Irritating – in this case, the word is incorrect. Multiple attempts to reach the desired location require the same zen as, let’s say, playing scales on the piano. Here, you need to be able to catch the wave, not pay too much attention to failures, find the rhythm and keep going, keep going, keep going… Gradually, the tediousness and monotony will be replaced by enlightenment and ease.

However, it is not clear why such a game is needed. If practicing jumps-over-lasers for pleasure can be compared to the rough practice of any real task, wouldn’t it be better to spend time on that real task?

Guitar Hero comes to mind. However, it is still understandable why people, at one time, spent hours playing four-button plastic guitars instead of real ones – in GH, everything was simple and immediately fun. But in the case of Deadcore, I give up – it is simultaneously difficult and boring. It’s a combination of qualities, you know.

Action, Indie
5 Bits Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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