This is an interesting twist on the genre of the endless runner, instead of progressing forward and shooting you're instead blasting backwards. In I Hate Running Backwards you're battling against a series of enemies, deadly traps and the occasional boss. There's no real sense of progression however as you still need to run through each of the zones and that becomes tedious. It's also rather difficult so when you do win the small battles and then die right after, it mostly becomes a tiring time. The only real unlocks you get are additional items to randomly come across in runs or the option to pull a switch on the bosses after defeating them. There's great levels of procedural generation making every run unique, but even that wears thin the more you have to replay the game. That's really all there is to the experience, run die and repeat.
I really enjoyed the visuals, it's got a nice voxel look to it and almost everything can be destroyed. Whether you're using regular guns or other explosion type power-ups the terrain gets ripped to pieces. This is the case with enemies too that run right after you no matter what walls get in the way. The power-ups were fun to use and varied as you randomly hit chests to grab them. There are other bonuses to find such as health. It's an auto-running experience so you mostly move around the space blasting everything. I noticed this gives a similar fatigue that Guitar Hero/Rock Band does where real vision will be moving after you've played. Not a negative, just something to note for those that may have issues with this aspect.
I Hate Running Backwards had some great potential, it's fun to play yet it feels basic and tiring. I never felt like I was ever accomplishing anything with every effort being a waste of time. At least in other games of the genre I get a sense of accomplishment and that was lacking here. The visuals are great, it's a lot of fun to play yet I can see many just becoming bored of it after doing a number of runs. The levels of destruction were great, there are many enemies the environments really are varied. You get to see some crazy places, yet it feels like a complete grind to reach them.
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I Hate Running Backwards Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by ID@Xbox