It’s the dog days of summer, and it seems like there’s nothing really going on — except that everyone, especially the president, is mad and crazy online, and maybe we’ll start nuclear war in a few days. The point is, there’s not a whole lot happening and the world might end, so you should treat yourself to Rez!
Rez, the neon-infused cyberpunk classic originally released in 2001, just came out on PC this week. I can report: It holds up. In Rez, you play as a floating cyberguy traveling through a computer who fires lasers at enemies; you use a reticle to lock onto up to eight targets, and then shoot them in time with the techno music.
If you use a controller with rumble functionality, it will also pulse in time with the soundtrack. The game is focused less on narrative and more on synesthesia, the sensation that defines much of designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s work.
Here’s Area 4 of the game, because video explains this whole thing better than I ever could. (Really, Area 5 is the one everyone talks about, but you’re better off going in blind.)
Anyway, it’s now on PC, and the minimum system requirements are low enough that any Windows computer from the last few years should be able to run it. Rez isn’t particularly hard (I hadn’t played it since it came out on the Xbox 360 nine years ago, and I got through it without dying once), and it’s not particularly long, but you can replay it endlessly. Get a good pair of headphones, block out the rest of the world, and strap in.