Hands On: Replaced is a Stylish Cyberpunk Platformer with an ’80s Cinematic Edge

This initiates a high-octane chase scene, with R.E.A.C.H having to leap over obstacles and calculate pauses to the nanosecond, lest you be captured or coldly gunned down. This sequence set a tense, unforgiving tone for Replaced – the inputs are simple, but there’s a distinct rhythm to it, and your timing is paramount. However, what really makes this section feel exciting is its gorgeous cinematic transitions; the game flows seamlessly from playable segments to animated cutscenes that feel like an explosive ’80s action movie. Light particles cascade down through trees and seep through large, imposing steel fences as I sprint from my doom – I actually died a few times getting distracted by the scenery. The apex of this chase segment sees me leap from a ledge and into another epic cinematic moment, drenched in cold, Blade Runner-esque colors. True care has gone into making this resonate like a classic action movie, but with an extremely cool pixel art twist.

The meatiest part of the demo sees R.E.A.C.H. arrive at his new home in Phoenix-City, an abandoned train station that’ll also serve as a hub for the game. Here, I met a diverse cast of characters with their own mysterious goings-on, and this is where Replaced’s story begins to shine. Just like the home they share, everyone that R.E.A.C.H meets seems to come with moral complexities and each is doing what they must endure to survive – which is not always obvious to R.E.A.C.H. As an A.I., their comprehension for how characters behave doesn’t always align with their surroundings, which makes for interesting conversations as the story begins to unfold.

[This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire]

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