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Platform : PlayStation2
4.3 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
Metascore: 78 / 100

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  • A fast moving, wire-frame adventure backed by industrial beats.
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4.3 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #7,251 in videogames
#106 in Video Games > More Systems > PlayStation 2 > Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
Media: Video Game

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By D. K. Malone on January 15, 2002
Someone else has already done an extensive review, so I just thought I'd share some interesting trivia and minutiae about Rez...

This game was originally unveiled in May 2001 under the code name "K Project." No explanation of this title was given. Now, upon finishing the game and watching the credits roll, finally we learn what the K stands for: "K Project- Dedicated to the creative spirit of Kandinsky." (Something to that effect, anyway.) Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a painter who is generally regarded as the father of "abstract/modern art." Kandinsky claimed that he heard sounds when he saw colors and vice versa. When senses overlap in this manner, it's called "synaesthesia." Much of Kandinsky's work revolved around this. He often described and titled his paintings in musical terms. This is very much the basis of Rez. Sight and sound comingle to form a whole. Rez's tag line is, in fact, "Go to Synaethesia."

Many will note the similarity between the play mechanics of Rez and the first two Panzer Dragoon games; using a cursor to lock on to multiple targets, and then firing at them all simultaneously. Well, there's a very good reason for this similarity: supposedly there are no less than seven former members of Team Andromeda on Rez's staff. Team Andromeda was the developer behind the Panzer Dragoon series.

The entire game is clearly influenced by the 1982 movie Tron. Aside from the obvious visual similarities, (get a load of the 3rd level boss... it's worth millions of our man-years!) both the movie and the game are about someone being sucked into a computer system and fighting their way through it. I'm quite sure that the title "Rez" itself is a direct reference to Tron.
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Once in a while a game comes along that serves a purpose beyond just entertainment. It stands as an example of human creativity, merging with technology to produce a synthetic world that's nothing less than astounding. Rez is an amazing creation that stands apart from other games due to its perfectly created virtual world.
I have the Japanese PS2 import, and it's developed by United Game Artists, a division of Sega. Rez is at its core a simple on-the-rails shooter, in the vein of Panzer Dragoon, Space Harrier, and Omega Boost. You move your character up/down/right/left as the terrain unfolds in front of you. You've got a lock-on firing weapon and an ''overdrive'' (i.e. a smart bomb), and that's it. Simple enough....
...but the setup is where the ordinary stops. Your character is invading a computer to try and stop....something. You dive through wire-framed landscapes, as enemies appear above, below, behind, and in front of you. The environments are beautifully done - they remind me of the classic film Tron, or what William Gibson must have envisioned when writing Neuromancer. They succeed in making you believe you're inside a giant computer. The enemies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, including giant unfolding flowers and a lightbeam-riding vehicle that resembles the Tron Lightcycle. As you lock-on and destroy them, different power-ups emerge: red nets you an overdrive (you can hold up to four at once) and blue evolves your character into some pretty incredible-looking forms. Travel through the layers successfully and you'll reach a boss - the battles are often long and multi-formed, reminding me of Radiant Silvergun. Beat the boss and you open new areas. The game is a magnificent visual creation, effectively enfolding you in an alien world.
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I wrote a review previoiusly for this game, giving 5 STARS despite of its relatively short length, simply because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been few years, and I felt like playing it again after midnight; and it's 2:20 right now. Gosh, I just can't help but to come back here again to tell you how incredible, overwhelming, nostalgic, wonderful,... I don't think any of these adjectives does justice for this needless-to-say masterpiece. I consider only two games in my life as something almost divine; Ico and Rez.
The main reason I'm writing this review AGAIN is to warn those who finished game with only first 4 areas. Yes, it's true that you can finish this game and get the ending with 4 areas. However, if you are putting this game away after that, then you are making a big mistake here. I did exactly same thing, putting it away after finishing first 4 areas, which was nevertheless exhilarating experience.
I know that this game costs alot these days, however, it's worth your money especially for those who want to 'experience', not just to play video games (Dreamcast version is also available). I get soaked with this strange feeling (after finishing all 5 areas straight), which I get time to time when it triggers the human's basic intrinsic questioning of its existence; who am I? where did I come from? Why am I here? Seriously, this is no video game; its existence is beyond that. You can't help but to be immersed into the world of Rez, the world of synesthesia.
save her, who is still trapped in the system.
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