Looking past all the various skin on display in the image above (and throughout the entirety of the game, for that matter), Golconda‘s latest, Recall1 ($1.00), is actually a comprehensive treatise on lost memories and the connections we form with other people… … … Yeah, I can’t take it serious either. The premise is wacky stuff— super smart (and, naturally, super fit) ‘alien beings’ wearing human costumes and pulling the strings of the universe behind the scenes. Oh, and there’s this whole ‘implied Lesbianism’ thing going on in some of those memories. Legitimate relationship that fits the plot? Absolutely not. Pandering to a teenage audience? You bet.
Yet with all those vacant eyes and awkward contortions, it’s hard to see anyone getting a thrill out of this. It still smacks of the ‘uncanny valley’ awkwardness from the developer’s previous effort, Vixenized. It keeps the running theme of under-dressed women from that game, but thankfully turns Recall into an actual first-person shooter with movement, rather than the ‘stationary shooting gallery’ the first game represented. Recall sets you loose in three different ‘time periods’, to do battle with other, meaner aliens, zombie vixens, and, of course, the regular, bloodthirsty vixens.
Granted, those environments constitute an unexciting space station and a pair of equally-boring caves, hallways that lead to other hallways, occasionally impeded by a door or… some kind of laser trap2? Points are awarded for kills, and for shooting ‘bombs’ that drop from the ceiling, which then explode, piñata-style, into more bonus points. All this to go with terribly stiff movement and shallow gunplay, though none of it is the focus. It’s simply a means to an end; by reaching certain scoring milestones, you get access to these aforementioned ‘memories’; typically girls in bathing suits / other revealing outfits3, outlining past interstellar events, as if anyone playing the game is interested in those events.
One of your many ‘lost’ memories. Bet you wish you could remember a little less clothing, eh? (nudge, nudge) Eh? ….. sinner.
The rest flows unenthusiastically from there, a glitchy (you can walk around outside the ‘space station’ level; not very realistic for the supposed ‘vacuum’ of space), unrefined mess of disparate pieces and vague objectives (‘orbs’ of some kind are required to unlock certain memories). The gameplay suffers for it, with enemies / bombs popping up randomly, even spawning directly on top of you in some cases, draining your health and any patience you might have had up to that point. The icing on this terrible cake? Your progress isn’t saved upon exit, so you’ll have to amass all the points in one sitting if you want to see how it ends.
Not that Recall is intended for serious first-person shooter enthusiasts, or even gamers in general. It’s candy for virgin eyes that have never glanced upon the treasure box of goodies that is The Internet. The developer knows what you came for, and puts enough skin on-screen to fulfill that promise …and nothing more. It should be no surprise to anybody that the ‘game’ underneath that flesh is woefully underdone, a distracted attempt at cheap extortion, a substandard product that should be totally recalled.