Title: RoboCop: Rogue City
Release Date: November 2, 2023
Reviewed On: PC
Let’s face it, movie tie-in video games rarely succeed; we all remember Skull Island: Rise of Kong. It’s fair to assume that many games based on popular media often rely more on nostalgia than gameplay. However, in a surprising twist, developer Teyon has created a genuinely fun gaming experience with the release of RoboCop: Rogue City. From start to finish, it’s a game that knows its identity and heavily embraces the over-the-top campiness of the series.
I must admit; I approached RoboCop: Rogue City with low expectations. Among nostalgic franchises, RoboCop is one of the few that holds a special place in my heart. My connection with it goes beyond merely enjoying the films. I grew up pretending to be RoboCop around my neighborhood, but of course, when watching the films, I had to close my eyes during the action scenes, but I filled in the gaps. In essence, this game had significant shoes to fill, and I didn’t believe it was possible until I played it.
Unleash RoboCop’s Power in the Over-the-Top Action of Rogue City
In the opening moments of RoboCop: Rogue City, an on-screen news journalist delivers the saddest incidents with the most deadpan delivery, instantly transporting me back to this world. It seems the developers, like myself, have a deep connection with the series. They’ve crafted a narrative that not only fits perfectly between RoboCop 2 and 3 but also contributes to worldbuilding and meaningful character interactions.
a genuinely fun gaming experience that knows its identity and embraces the over-the-top campiness of the series.
For returning fans, there are numerous Easter eggs and cameo characters from the series to discover, but they are seamlessly integrated into the narrative without coming off as force. The story revolves around a character known as “The New Guy in Town,” and it’s RoboCop’s duty to apprehend him. The identity of the antagonist is revealed later in the story, and we also witness significant character moments that delve into RoboCop’s internal struggles, but we also explore the intricacies of city life and how civilians make a living.
While not obligatory, I recommend taking on side quests as they often enhance the experience of being RoboCop and utilizing his abilities. The game is divided into arena-like areas that allow exploration that leads to more straightforward breach-and-clear-style missions.
Exploration unveils some of the unique world-building elements in the game. City levels are packed with opportunities to interact with NPCs, intervene in crimes, or assist citizens. Each action comes with choices that may impact the game’s ending, ranging from issuing a warning to detaining a citizen for a crime.
The main campaign missions offer the most action, while side missions require the use of RoboCop’s detective features. Players can scan points of interest and question NPCs for information. Hidden clues can be used during dialogues to obtain quicker results during interrogations, reducing the reliance on violence. This variety keeps the pacing engaging, even without constant action.
One of the highlights of the gaming experience is Peter Weller reprising his role as RoboCop, making the entire production feel like the RoboCop movie we never got.”
In terms of combat, RoboCop: Rogue City offers an arcade-like, intense experience filled with gore. The environment erupts with particles as bullets and explosions fill the screen, yet RoboCop stands as a formidable technological powerhouse. Playing as RoboCop and entering a room with guns blazing never gets old. Who needs cover or strategy when you’re a walking tank? While you can sustain damage, bullets don’t stagger RoboCop, making you feel like an unstoppable force. Zooming in outlines enemies for easier takedowns, and limited health packs require you to dispatch enemies swiftly while trying not to take damage.
You can pick up enemy guns, but your Auto-9 has unlimited bullets. The other available guns may sound less impressive, but they do add variety to the action, especially in the later, more challenging campaign levels. As you unlock new nodes on the Skill Tree, additional abilities become accessible, allowing RoboCop to hack complex computers, solve puzzles, and persuade adversaries more effectively.
The over-the-top action and investigation segments in the game are perfectly balanced, providing an engaging and immersive gameplay experience.
One of the game’s main issues is the backtracking required in some levels. After completing longer missions, there isn’t a formal “Leave Area” option, necessitating a return to the level’s entrance to progress the game. Furthermore, RoboCop’s speed is not his strong suit, and traversing from one end of the level to the other can be a slow experience. While this allows for immersion in the environments, it can become tedious when you’re trying to wrap up side missions before advancing the campaign.
Peter Weller Returns in RoboCop: Rogue City – A Must-Play for Fans
It would be a disservice not to mention Peter Weller reprising his role as RoboCop. One of the highlights of the gaming experience is the story scenes, primarily due to Peter’s performance. It captures the dark humor of the series, making the production feel like the RoboCop movie we never had. Interestingly, the game explores plot points beyond what the films provide.
While the graphics may not be the best when compared to other modern games, the developers have made the most of their resources, creating a high-quality product. Each level is distinct, and the assets aren’t stretched too thin. You can even interact somewhat with the environment by picking up objects and hurling them at enemies. It’s evident that considerable effort went into crafting these areas, and I found the performance to be stable during my 16 hours with the game.
Balancing Nostalgia and Modern Gameplay
RoboCop: Rogue City isn’t one of those games described as “So bad it’s good.” It’s simply a good game from start to finish that pays homage to the franchise it’s based on and captures what makes it endearing. The narrative beats leave an impact through emotional plot points and dark humor in a city in need of a hero, where your choices truly matter. The over-the-top action and investigation segments are perfectly balanced, but the constant backtracking does weigh on the experience. Nonetheless, this game was a delight to play and one I can’t wait to discuss with others who give it a shot.
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