When United Game Artists first showed off some screens of REZ, it looked as though they'd turned the computer game graphics rule book upside down, and made up their own set of new fangled rules - now we've seen the game in action, it's still visually very impressive, but not quite what we'd expected.
Gameplay in REZ is somewhat more simple than we expected, which is good, as the still screenshots that we first saw made it look like you'd require a high Mensa rating to even get in to the gameplay, yet alone actually enjoy it.
However, simple is maybe a bit of an understatement, because all you really need to do in the game is hold down the aim button, and move the on screen sight about, so that it passes over the enemy objects - as you move over an object you see a number incrementing in the sight, until it shows as 'MAX', at which point you let go of the button, and your lasers fire.
It's not really the gameplay that makes up the large part of the game though, due to it's "artistic" style, where you get to multiply waves of sound with each enemy that explodes. The blurb before the launch said that each hit of an object would make the music waves multiply, and to an extent they do, but not quite how we'd expected they would, as really the music is always there, just with extra bits added after a hit.
Later stages see you battling it out against huge end of area bosses, which are made up of tiles which each have to be shot with your laser, and really show off some of the power that the Dreamcast can muster, treating you to both a visual and audible delight as you have tiles whizzing across the screen, directly towards you, and in a number of directions all at once, giving you a sensory overload.
It's a bit of a "love-hate" thing with REZ. You'll either love the game because it looks different, or because it's the sort of thing to like just because it's stylish. Or you'll completely and utterly hate it because of the unusual graphics, or the fact that it's a bit too simple and over too quickly.
REZ isn't quite as impressive and cutting edge as we thought it might be, and the length of the gameplay is somewhat concerning. However, it is a good game, which will probably go down as a classic, as it's plenty of fun to play, and looks very impressive with the mix of trippy visuals and thumping beats - all of which has some sort of bizarre draw to it that keeps you coming back for more - just maybe not quite as much as we'd have hoped.Overall score: 7 out of 10
Recommended Price: £29.99
Available: NowBuy REZ for the Dreamcast from Amazon