This game was played on the Xbox One S version of the game. Your experience may differ when playing on different systems. The core gameplay elements, story, and features, however, should be the same. Enjoy :-)
Rec Room is a low-poly, cross-play, casual, social type game where you can chill with your friends, talk to each other and even play some fun mini-games together. The game features extensive character customization, with clothing items earned at the end of each game, when you level up, and after completing daily challenges. Since Rec Room is a free-to-play game you can also buy the items you like. Expect to pay $10+ for the nice-looking ones.
Are you feeling creative? The in-game Room Builder will give you all the tools you need to make your own game, story, or even a flying spaceship. Really cool concept that requires a lot of time to master. Game circuits to track a player, move in a certain way, or respawn players take many tutorials to understand properly. Do you want to use that one cool mob you saw in your custom room? Well, you either have to build it or buy it for in-game currency, including the ones you can find in developer built mini-games. Now, to be fair you can also sell your cool creations on the marketplace, given you have the subscription active ($8).
Rec Room offers 50 levels for you to get through, there are no benefits to being a higher level, you don’t get any special powers or better weapons to use in mini-games, it’s purely a representation of how long you played the game. If you set out on the journey to reach level 50, be warned, it takes 108 days. Doesn’t matter how long you play per day or how good you are at the game, it WILL take 108 days minimum. The game features a daily XP cap of 150XP, to reach level 50 you need 16 150XP. You can expect to reach the daily cap in about 2 hours, in total you need 216 hours to reach level 50, that is if you were as efficient as possible. Based on my current numbers it's closer to 300hrs. To compare when Battlefield V first came out it took me around 25 hours to reach level 50 (max level), with other battlefields clocking in at around the same 300hr mark for max level. XP cap is a lazy way of preventing people from AFKing in your game all day to reach the max level and shouldn’t be featured in any games.
There are about 20 original mini-games (RRO) and countless amount of community rooms for you to enjoy either solo or with a friend or two. Here I’ll look at a few of those in detail. First, let’s look at the RRO games. I’d split those into 4 categories:
Team Based games like paintball, dodgeball and Laser tag.
Quest games, where you and up to 3 people fight to clear out rooms of enemies and defeat a final boss.
Solo Games where you compete against up to 3 other people to be the best
Without a doubt, my favorite RRO game has to be Disc Throw. For those of you who ever played mini-golf before this will feel almost the same. Equipped with a disc you have to make it touch a goal post. The person with the lowest score after 8 holes wins. Simple yet amazing idea, well-executed. There are a few bugs here and there like the disc won’t spawn, a fully charged shot falls 2 feet in front of you and the disc won’t always fly to the center of your screen. Bugs you can ignore most of the time.
One of the if not the most popular game mode is Paintball. Two game modes are available: Capture the flag and TDM. Good luck loading fast enough to hit the tiny little bar at the top of the scoreboard to switch game modes. For the first 2 weeks, I didn't even know that was a thing. Judging by the amount of CTF games played I'd be willing to bet 3/4 of the player base have no idea TDM exists in Paintball. The worst issue becomes really obvious here, hit registering doesn't always work.
Another really popular RRO is Laser Tag, feels just like Paintball TDM with extra bots thrown in and you get a health bar. The first team to score 400 points wins.
Quest Games fell weird at times. Playing alone could be compared to playing with randoms in CS:GO. Before a game even starts the squad has to stand on a square, people will AFK, mess around shout, and do all kinds of crazy things. Can't kick them since people don't vote. When the game finally starts you are more likely to get teamkilled on purpose than to finish the game. It's one-hit kill but the mobs have a health bar, feels a tad bit unfair. When you get a good team it's a fun game mode.
Battle Royale or Rec Royale as the game calls it. I doubt there are people who never heard of Battle Royale games. Split into solos (14-16 players) and teams (18 players) you or your team fight to be the best. Teams seem to be dead as I waited over 5 mins for a game to start and Solos are OKAY at best. No idea why it’s max 16 players when community rooms allow up to 20 players. I also never figured out a way to open a map, if there is any, to tell where the new circle will be.
Finally, community rooms. Simply said, if there's a game type or a game mode you enjoy it will most like be here. From parkour maps, hill climbing, Skyrim roleplay, and Minecraft of sorts it's all here for you to enjoy. This is where the limitations of the game really come out. Game circuitry (way to move objects) is unreliable at best. Objects that should be moving aren't, get stuck in such a way that will stop you from progressing and sometimes won't spawn at all. Whenever a person joins a game, the game lags for about a second or two. Amazing how such a simple game performs worse than some AAA titles.
Looking past all these bugs and performance issues it all comes down to the community. With the mic turned on by default and the game being all about community, it's absolutely unacceptable to have people shouting racist slurs at me when I want to enjoy the game. Kids screaming in mics, blasting music, shouting the N-word at people, and even trying to extort tokens from players. A community more toxic than Call of Duty. The vote kick system is an absolute joke. At least 3 times have I seen a group of players blocking people's path asking for 100 tokens to let them pass. Can't kick them. People screaming in mics? Not everyone votes, can't kick them. The number of people I reported and never once got the "Thanks we banned them" message saddens me.
Rec Room is fun for the first week or two. After this period has passed you will realize there are only 3-4 mini-games you enjoy, the community is really toxic and devs care more about cosmetics than bugs and oh boi are there plenty. 3/10