First Impressions: The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia
The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia is a strange, genre-mashing game where you play as Ray Bibbia, a private exorcist who uncovers a great mystery while banishing demons for work. Best described as a typing game with bullet hell mechanics, The Textorcist doesn’t sound like something I would normally be eager to play, but the premise is so unbelievably strange and the game is free right now on the Epic Games Store so I decided to give it a try.
In The Textorcist you play as Ray Bibbia, a grumpy old man who runs a private exorcism business after having a falling out with the Holy Church. Although the Holy Church has complete rule over the kingdom, it’s clear that many citizens do not like the Holy Church and that there is likely more than meets the eye regarding the organization. As Ray answers house calls and goes around banishing demons for his business, he will quickly discover many secrets that will link his troubled past, depressing present, and uncertain future.
In order to banish demons, Ray has to recite various phrases from his Bible in order to shoot out “Hollets” or holy bullets. In order to get Ray to recite the phrases, you have to literally type them out letter by letter on a keyboard. At the same time, the enemy will attack you with bullet-hell type attacks which you have to dodge while typing. If you get hit, your Bible will fly out of your hand and you’ll have to go run to wherever it lands to pick it up. If you get hit again without your Bible, you’ll lose a life. If you lose all of your lives in one battle, it's game over.
Aside from the overall game mechanics, reciting the phrases has its own mechanics as well. Each phrase is broken up into a line and each line into a word. If you type a letter wrong then you go back a letter, which can make errors costly, but fortunately you never go back a word from mistyping no matter how many errors you take. With that said however, when you get hit and your Bible flies out of your hand, it has a timer. When that short timer runs out, your progress for the entire phrase will be reset and you’ll have to start over from the very first line. This makes the game a constant battle between risking taking a hit to try to type a phrase quickly versus playing it safely and slowly typing a phrase over time.
In terms of story The Textorcist is pretty mundane. It does have a unique setting with the exorcism theme as well as minor twists and turns throughout, but overall the story feels very recycled. Furthermore, in order to do anything in this game you have to type it out. For example, to examine something you have to literally type "examine." This makes it so that engaging in the lackluster story is not only boring, it's annoying. It doesn’t help that the writing itself is also awful and occasionally verges on illiterate. Fortunately the game does have some pleasant art and genuinely good music, so at least your senses are indulged while trudging through the tedious text.
There’s really not much to say about The Textorcist. It’s a game where you type gibberish while dodging attacks. If that sounds fun to you then you’ll probably like this game; if not then you probably won’t. While I found the strange mix to provide some surprisingly adrenaline-pumping boss fights, the game as a whole wasn’t interesting enough for me to recommend it as anything more than a novelty. With that being said, The Textorcist is free right now on the Epic Games Store so if you’re looking for something different to try, you have nothing to lose by giving this a shot. Ryan’s Rating: 2/5 The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia retails for $15 and is available on PC. It is also available for free on the Epic Games Store from now until November 19. As long as you claim the game by November 19, it will stay in your library forever.