Rez (PlayStation 2) review
"...it must be heard with a blur of the real to be seen with seamless clarity."
I dive into layers of cybernetic crust. Below my feet pass reams of contours, scanlines that pulse to the signal of the world, gnarled steadily on neon wires. My body vibrates to the rhythm of electronic spectrums and to the stocattic melody of cornered colorwheels. In this prismatic subspace, music and light graft onto the strings of inertia, shaping a tetrahedral framework that plucks my skin like netted sequins. They flow thick and loose with the freedom of imagination, weaving the molten core of Rez along the synthetic soundstream. I let these quixotic lines shrill upon my senses and ripple upon the freeform, for if I am to listen to the heart of this landscape, it must be heard with a blur of the real to be seen with seamless clarity.
Every layer I unlock, every vision I follow, leads me true to Eden. She is artificial, the kind of intelligence that exists securely in a system. She has an advanced mind of binary thoughts and a naked body of anesthetic nerves. She was born out of serial fantasy, but as much as I am, she is not an illusion. She feels limp with consciousness, stretched upon paradoxes, and possessed by self-realization. She wants to shut down from existential confusion, but I am willed not to let her. I must retrieve her spirit through the plexus of machinations and show her the journey I take to free her, to remind her of her rightful name.
But security, a warning, can chain sentience to the frame, and like a web suspended on digital moonshine, it infects her laced at every turn. Firewalls disarray the linear path with mulled overlays, as viral ships blast the ether with homing missiles, green and corkscrewed - radioactive wine. Erroneous clusters seep through the matrix - pixilated brushfires - smoking the atmosphere into specular embers.
Data, both clean and corrupt, compile to kill me.
Procedural elimination casts its shadow upon the edges of my being, as I lock onto enemy signatures without a trace of priority. Armed only with a chamber of eight spectral bullets, I fire sonic beams of light that pierce their shells in cascading right-angled projections. My foes destruct into ionic fragments which fuse into my evolving form. I can feel their strength, the mantling overdrives waiting to unleash prismatic destruction and simmer my field of vision before filtering, murmuring, evenly back into the frictionless space with a pallid hum.
Rez is an elegant pandemonium of energy, a harmonic aurora hovering above the normal surface. It exists only within a plane of five fleeting sections, but it has a voice with no equal. As if cut from a multi-dimensional gemstone, it refracts augmented reality into sensation and verve. No matter the frame of reference, its tectonic pull of creative gravity stitches illusion with re-sculpted intensity. There is an epiphany lurking in these virtual waters, and diving in with a mind threaded upon the open will charge it through the cadence of a supernova.
Staff review by Nicholas Tan (February 26, 2007)
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