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ABRISS Review: Blast Corps For The Modern Era

  • Engaging visual and auditory experience
  • Incredible freedom to experiment with your creations/solutions
  • Endless and Sandbox modes offer even more creative options
  • Toes the line of the masocore genre, which may lead to lots of frustration
  • No real storyline to connect with

In an era brimming with sleek realism, developer Randwerk hits the proverbial sweet spot with its debut project, "ABRISS." A manifestation of raw destructive delight, this atmospheric physics-destruction building game fuses brutalist architectural inspirations with the visceral satisfaction of demolishing them, evoking the fun-filled chaos reminiscent of the golden era of "Blast Corps" from the Nintendo 64 era.


It's a modernized, visually rich experience that toes the line of the masocore genre, promising not just a game, but an electrifying (and oft-frustrating) spectacle. With an arsenal of design components at your disposal, "ABRISS" offers an enthralling playground of sorts where creativity meets chaos. Let's dismantle the beauty of this title, brick by digital brick.

At first glance, the world of "ABRISS" is a dark yet mysterious and captivating canvas where the abstract meets the concrete — a realm heavily infused with Mainboard Brutalism, drawing from the surreal artworks of renowned artists like HR Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. It brings to mind an uncanny resemblance to the environment of "Bleak Faith: Forsaken," adding a layer of depth and connection if you (like us) unapologetically enjoyed that game. This vivid backdrop of digitally brutalist cityscapes not only forms the nucleus of your destructive odyssey but stands as a testament to the game's sterling graphical prowess, a feat that earned it the "Best Graphic Design" at the German Computer Game Awards 2023.


A world built for destruction

Diving into "ABRISS" feels like wielding the scepter of chaos where every structure you erect is destined for a grandiose downfall. The gameplay mechanics are uniquely designed, offering players a myriad of parts to use varying in weights, durability, and purpose, fostering an atmosphere of creativity and strategic planning — things like rotators, heavy-duty weighted cubes, different connection options, and, of course, bombs (which detonate whenever you click on it). The beauty of this game lies in the freedom it affords; there is no fixed blueprint to success. Whether you're constructing a rotating trebuchet or a behemoth hammer, the game encourages experimentation, sometimes leading to unexpectedly masterful destructions, or at times, just a ridiculous stroke of luck.


As mentioned, the game skillfully balances on the border of the masocore genre, where the joy of destruction feels delightfully punitive yet satisfying. The learning curve is essentially based on your eventual understanding of the game's physics, where sometimes the most absurd machine designs translate into the most triumphant successes. It's an experience peppered with trial and error (weighing heavily with the latter) — a constant tweaking of strategies that keeps the gameplay fresh and addicting.

Modes of chaos

"ABRISS" treats you to a few different modes that promise endless hours of destructive fun. The campaign mode is a well-curated journey across seven worlds, each characterized by unique environmental mechanics and increasingly challenging stages. As you forge ahead, your arsenal expands, paving the way for more sophisticated strategies and grander displays of utter destruction.


For those who prefer a more unstructured approach, the sandbox mode is your haven of unbridled creativity, where the rulebook is tossed aside, and the floor is open for any concoction your mind can muster. Endless mode beckons masochists at heart to vie for the ultimate high score in a relentless spree of demolition.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that "ABRISS" truly shines in its complex destruction system, a tantalizing dance of physics and graphics that transforms every crumbling structure into a visual poetry of debris and explosive particles. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in the little fragments that scatter and the thunderous sounds that accompany the downfall of whatever it is that you're trying to destroy, lending an auditory satisfaction that complements the visual feast.


The photo mode further amplifies the immersive experience, offering a chance to capture the catastrophic beauty in 4K clarity, freeze moments in time, or even create looping GIFs that encapsulate the chaotic artistry in motion. Necessary? Not at all. A welcomed feature? Absolutely.

A symphony of creation and destruction

A puzzle game at heart, the allure of "ABRISS'" is its brutalist landscapes, intricate building mechanics, and the freedom to destroy in myriad ways, offering a gaming experience that is both nostalgic and refreshingly modern. With Steam Workshop support, you can also share your creations with the world and challenge others to build machines that rival yours.


While the game brilliantly toes the line of the masocore genre, offering challenges that are over-the-top tough yet satisfying, it also nurtures the creator within, encouraging an explorative approach towards achieving destructive success. It's a delightful juxtaposition of planned strategy and unexpected outcomes, making each gaming session a unique narrative of destruction.

Though at times, you might yearn for more depth in the storyline or a more extensive array of building components, ABRISS holds its ground as a robust platform where the joy of destruction takes center stage.