Berzerk: Recharged Logo
Berzerk: Recharged Icon
Berzerk: Recharged

Developer: SneakyBox

Publisher: Atari

Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Price: $9.99
  • Release Date: Nov 9, 2023
  • Number of Players: 1 - 2
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
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    A reasonable improvement to the arcade classic, but it fails to push the envelope enough to make it compelling

    As a big fan of classic arcade titles of all kinds, it has been a thrill to see the Atari Recharged series take quite a number of mainstays from the glory days and give them a facelift. Typically sporting a budget-friendly price and a more refined and modern look, while not every title in the series has been a winner, more often than not they eclipse the original in their overall appeal. But sadly, while I can appreciate the improvements and refinements made to the original Berzerk formula, this Recharged title doesn’t feel like it’s clearly an improvement, and may more have just managed to break even overall, regardless of it looking prettier.

    Starting with what works, consistent with the rest of the Recharged series the game now has a more polished and clean look, which is nice to see. While I wouldn’t say that more fully taking on the isometric look has worked perfectly in this implementation, as the top edges of walls can be harder to judge easily, it’s still a net positive overall. Also consistent with the rest of the Recharged titles are leaderboards and a variety of Missions that help to add some longevity incentive to the picture if you’re into competing to be the best. Last, the inclusion of a small number of power-ups does help to shake up the normal more static feel of the original and provide a fair deal of randomness to the proceedings on subsequent runs.

    On the flipside, I’d say that while there have been changes made to alter the flow and feel of the game, there also hasn’t been much of a transformation in base play when you compare this to its contemporaries. Borrowing some concepts from the show Chopped it feels like with Berzerk they were able to get all of the basket ingredients on the plate, and did a fair job of mixing them with some spice, but most of the elements simply don’t feel transformed, or at least much beyond what they were. Add to that the fact that in the indie game Alien Death Mob, there was an included mode which was effectively an upgraded version of Berzerk that I found more compelling and exciting, and the takeaway overall is harder to be impressed by.

    In the end Berzerk: Recharged is absolutely an improvement on the original classic in a number of areas, but it also doesn’t feel like it's clearly the superior overall game. For whatever its flaws in implementation more than 4 decades ago, it still holds up surprisingly well and can provide for some tense gameplay at times. By contrast, Recharged in this case feels a bit more bland and muted, failing to replicate the same urgency and sometimes panic that the original could provide. It’s a reasonably good arcade upgrade, but hardly a great one.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.0]

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