Ruthless is an action-adventure open world sandbox video game developed by Freefall Interactive and published by FI Birmingham. Ruthless was released on PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita and Wii-U In Turn 42.
'A far distance from Earth, two great alien civilizations fought over the same piece of rock, The Orb, over and over again. For centuries The Orb was kept in safe hands with one of the alien civilizations. The aliens were called the Terrasyrens of their forever conflicting homeplanet Alpha Crucis Gamma. These strange, humanoid creatures created The Orb long ago when they discovered a far more powerful civilization, named by the Terrasyrens as The Creators', who's technology was implemented into The Orb. The other, hostile and warmongering nation, the Nyxans, were the messengers of The Creators and were sent to Alpha Crucis Gamma to recover The Orb. But the operation took so long it eventually turned into a battle, then a conflict and finally a war. The War was so close to being won by the Nyxans, that The Orb had to be sent far away by the Terrasyrens for safekeeping by another civilization. The last of the Terrasyrens closed and destroyed the portal to keep The Orb safe, as they went in pursuit after it.
After an alien anomaly crashes into Earth, troubled 21 year old Calvin Shaw comes across it after a drunk night out. Whilst on his 4 mile walk back home, Calvin stumbled in a field and saw a light coming from a hole in the ground. Calvin hesitantly decides to enter the hole and falls from a 5 foot drop into a small cave. After Calvin recovers from his fall, a distant white light was in front of him and Calvin walks towards it. Unexpectedly Calvin appears right infront of the light, and he worriedly looks at his skin. is skin was boiling and bubbling. Then, it all disappeared, and he woke up back in his apartment thinking it was all a dream. Calvin gets dressed, makes a coffee and turns on the TV. News reports 'An alien anomaly has crashed into earth beside The Red Lion pub'. This was no dream. His partner Susie Mars asks him "Whats up honey? watching the news? I thought you didn't like watching the news?" Calvin responds "You're right..." and worriedly walks to his front door. He opens it to find downtown New York under severe attack by UFO's. "I never did!"
The scene cuts out.
Whilst Earth is being decimated by aliens, Calvin finds that he has acquired an extraterrestrial power from the anomaly, therefore saving Susie from death. After an interactive cutscene, players are then asked if they want to the story specific ability or they can customize what the ability is specifically.
The rest of the story is player-driven, but follows the root of Calvin Shaw becoming very angry and delusional. The player can determine which way the story goes.
Following from the Prologue:
Distant gunshots and flashes are seen outside the apartment. Calvin and Susie are puzzled. What is going on? They both thought. Suddenly the apartment started to rumble, car alarms went off and finally, the room tore apart. With the rest of the building, Calvin and Susie's once beautiful apartment was now scattered on the sidewalk below.
"We need to get off the building!" Calvin exclaimed.
He kicked open the front door. Susie started to slip, the building was tilting! Calvin grabbed her before she fell.
"We're now going to make it....!" He whispered, as he huddled Susie tight in his arms.
"I love you Calvin."
"I love you too....!"
And then there was blackness.
Blackness. All Calvin could see was blackness, and the only thing he could hear was his own breathing. I light appeared in front of him and Calvin started uncontrollably flying towards it. Screaming and clawing at the ground below him, Calvin fell through the light. He saw the sky, as normal as any other day with the sun directly above him. Calvin sat up and examined his surroundings, he thought to himself Is this real? Gasping at the rubble and derelict and fallen buildings around him.
Where was Susie? In shock, Calvin stood up and shouted:
"Susie! Susie are you in here?"
Calvin threw the pieces of rubble away with superhuman strength. What was wrong with him? How was he alive, and how did he just do that? All these questions were swirling in his mind but the thing that beat them all was Where was Susie? He had to find her, Calvin wouldn't know what to do without her. And there she was, lying in the rubble. She too was staring into the sky, but with her eyes closed.
"Susie! Thank god you're alive!" Sighed Calvin in relief, at least he thought so.
"Susie? Talk to me baby please!"
But she didn't say a peep. A strange green pulse shivered through Susie's body. Mustering all of his courage and commitment, Calvin with Susie lying helplessly in his arms, walked off away from what remains of Manhattan to find the nearest functional hospital. Calvin needed to go a little further than expected; the Mojave desert had the only functional military outlet that provided medicinal care for the wounded,
There were many other wounded people like Susie herself, all asleep in their beds that smelt of disinfectant. The whole place smelt of disinfectant, all for the better. Susie was found a medical bed to rest on until she was confirmed dead or alive.
"Whatever happened out there must have been a miracle!" stated the doctor.
"What do you mean?" questioned Calvin, he looked at his hands and thought, but he kept it to himself.
"Well Calvin, your girlfriend should be dead."
"Is she able to talk?"
"I'm afraid not. She is currently in a coma and we don't know when she will be out of it." The doctor had a small sadness in his voice.
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Ruthless' goal is to provide an experience to the player of having their very own superhero, with his very own story and powers and looks etc.
Prior to the start of the singleplayer campaign the player first has the option to either follow the primary story (Calvin Shaw) or they can take the less narratively compelling user-defined storyline. This requires the player to create their character from scratch using a powerful but easy-to-use in-game editor. Players will later be able to construct their own weapons and powers using abilites and experience earned by progressing through the game.
Whether you are in singleplayer or multiplayer, sandbox is always the key element to both game modes.
Depending on how the player evolves their character and which path they choose to take, will depend on what ending they will end up with.
PC versions of Ruthless have much easier controls thanks to keyboards, as controllers require a lot of button combos to conduct a special move. As well as enhanced anti-aliasing and overall better graphics, the PC is the better option for Ruthless if graphics and flexibility is your thing.
Following the same musical art direction as Origins, the music is dynamic to the situation and the environment the player is engulfed in in-game. So it can switch from tense to relaxing to horrific, completely dependent on the given situation.
In Turn 32, Freefall Interactive released a teaser screenshot for Ruthless that depicted Calvin Shaw walking through Chinatown, NY with wrecked streets and mutated humans in the background:
Reception for Ruthless was generally well-received by critics, currently holding a Metascore of 78 on Metacritic - averaged across all platforms. With a User Score of 8.2 so far.
"Ruthless is, quite frankly, a lot of different ideas mixed into one game, and I have a lot of mixed feelings on it. At its core, there's a really cool sandbox, be-whatever-superhero-you-want-to-be experience, and it works for the most part. The story'd solid, even if it does stumble towards the end, and the combat is strong and focused, not overly complicated, but it does have a learning curve. Quite frankly, there's a lot to love about Ruthless, and Freefall proves their versatility can produce something of value, unlike Origins. But it fails to reach the heights of Burnt Skies due to a lot of lackluster powers, a general lack of sense of progression, and a large, but seemingly empty world. Quests aren't a problem, but after you do them, the world feels lifeless and empty. The multiplayer component helps feel this gap, but can only take the game so far by involving others. Beating up baddies with friends is fun, but it's only fun for so long. The dynamic story is well done, but the multiple endings mean some of them end up feeling anti-climatic due to some of the choices you can make. In the end, though, Ruthless is a very adventurous game, and an experience I recommend you check out. It's an experience that may frustrate you occasionally, but keeps you wanting more." OVERALL SCORE: 8.0/10
"If you've ever dreamt up or created a superhero, and wanted to see their story play out, Ruthless is the game in which you can do that. The choices, powers, and scope of the entire game cannot be summed up in anything less than one word: amazing. When you're in combat, or just admiring the game's world, it's hard not to be impressed by everything Freefall has done here. This game really benefitted from the extra time in development, and it shows with the pure polish and presentation that the game presents so oftenly. However, there are times where the game stumbles, such as the integrated multiplayer system, and certain endings that don't really end where I would have liked them to. Still, with such a game as this, those minor details can be overlooked, and the game can truly be appreciated for what it is: impressive, to say the least. I cannot recommend it enough." OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10
"Sometimes, when playing Ruthless, you have those rare moments where you're so immersed in a game, you forget it's actually a game. You mistake it for reality. This game is the definition of interactive entertainment, immersion, and captivating. The story hits every major point you could want and more, and the choice isn't purely cosmetic, these decisions have long-lasting effects, some of which you will not see instantly, and that makes it even better. The combat is smooth, fluid, and works just like I'd hoped it would. Freefall really struck gold here, the only downsides are the multiplayer component, occasional graphical hiccups, and occasionally, the longing, empty feeling inside the world after you've completed all the sidequests. Still, for the amount of content you're getting, this can't be passed up." OVERALL SCORE: 8.3/10
A demo of Ruthless was released for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in Turn 32. Currently it is a simple multiplayer combat simulator, with several maps based in aftermath New York. Your can customize your character. using the first public version of the editor, for use in the combat simulator.
Demos for the remaining consoles were released in Turn 35.
After extensive alpha, beta and gamma testing, in the latter stages of gamma testing, a major game-breaking bug was found across all platforms. In order to fix the problem, FI delayed Ruthless by 2 turns, whilst promising extra polish, as well as free future DLC for the game for people who pre-ordered before the delay, as a sorry.