To be honest, I wasn’t expecting the release of RoboCop: Rogue City at all. Based on the videos, it seemed to me that this was an unremarkable, clumsy shooter that wasn’t worth wasting time on. But after launching only the first mission, it became clear that this game needs to be talked about, and after going further, I became even more convinced of this. Why exactly – you will find out in this review.
Probably, the introduction turned out to be too loud, so I want to immediately bring you down to earth – this is still a mid-budget shooter, so you shouldn’t expect cool cutscenes, breakthrough graphics and other features of the AAA segment from it. However, the game can give a lot of pleasant impressions to those who are familiar with the series of films of the 80s.
Since I watched “RoboCop” as a child and haven’t watched the films since then, I decided before passing (or rather after completing the first mission, when I realized that I would play further) to watch the first two parts, so to speak, to be in the material . Why not the third? The fact is that the events of the game take place between the second and third parts, so I wanted to better immerse myself in the chronology of the universe and at the same time understand the references.
The advantage of RoboCop: Rogue City is that the game is revealed literally right away… “Revealed”… This word appears quite often in the information field after the release of Starfield. Should the game show its best sides right away or become more interesting gradually? There is no clear answer here. However, I can definitely say that completing the free demo will give you the overall experience, although the contents are just the tip of the iceberg. The game really opens up from the very beginning, but it doesn’t get any duller from there. As you progress, new enemies and weapons appear, and you shouldn’t forget about leveling up, which constantly opens up new opportunities.
The gameplay can be roughly divided into three components: shooting, talking and exploring. Gunplay, of course, is slow and sometimes resembles a shooting gallery, but this does not mean that you can stand still. Often you have to maneuver (as far as possible), retreat, change tactics for enemies, select different weapons, use the environment. After all, even though we play as a robot policeman, we cannot endlessly absorb damage. Thanks to all this, the game does not get boring. It’s probably worth saying this pretentious journalistic “the game makes you feel like RoboCop.”
Of course, the game has one drawback, indirectly related to shooting. Enemies often blend into the environment and are difficult to see against the general background. The only thing that saves you is the local “witcher’s instinct” for the sight, which circles all enemies within the screen in a green outline – just like in the film.
It would be a stretch to call the world of RoboCop: Rogue City semi-open. Essentially, each mission is a separate large location that you can explore until you want to move further in the story. And there is always something to do. You can search for hidden objects, or you can carry out various assignments from both ordinary people and colleagues. I would recommend not ignoring them, as they not only allow you to learn more about the lore, but also provide experience. Sometimes these are short dialogues, and sometimes they are long chains of investigation leading to different endings. There are, of course, linear levels, but even in them there are many secrets and optional places.
Alas, the plot itself is not as exciting as I would like it to be. This is a standard story about cops fighting crime, with the only difference being that the hero is a cyborg. You can say “the game is not about the plot” and you will, in principle, be right. I didn’t feel like giving up because of the story – it just led me from mission to mission. However, I could not help but note this fact. After all, you are here for objectivity, right?
For RoboCop fans, there are a ton of references here, from the detailed locations to the small details. So, in one of the notes we can see a letter with a business proposal from the manufacturer of baby food that RoboCop uses. As you may know, this is his main food. There are also more noticeable references. Remember the moment from the second part when the hero “hovered” in front of the criminal who had taken a hostage. Somehow they didn’t even pay much attention to it. They immediately turned this into a full-fledged game mechanic. Due to the instability of our hero, after completing missions he is checked for performance (standard screen with mission results). In this way, we can gain experience for certain actions and a final grade.
However, there is also a reference, for some reason recreated almost frame by frame. Remember the ED-209 robot that shot a policeman because he allegedly did not drop his gun? This moment is almost completely reproduced in the game. For me personally, this scene did not cause the joy of a fan, which the developers were most likely counting on, but the thought “What? The second time with the same rake? But this is perhaps the only controversial point.
Graphically, RoboCop: Rogue City looks good, especially considering the game’s budget. The overall impression of the picture can be spoiled, perhaps, by slightly wooden animations during dialogues. I could call the optimization excellent, especially taking into account the Unreal Engine 5, on which many new products work poorly, if not for one “but”. Yes, the game runs smoothly on PC and without severe drops in FPS – this is undoubtedly pleasing. But for me personally, it often crashes with an error when starting a cutscene, which is sometimes very annoying. I was hoping for a “magic” day one patch that would fix everything, but no – the release version also crashes from time to time. Judging by the fact that there is little talk about this on the Internet, the problem is not widespread, but it still exists.
So, it’s time to sum up. RoboCop: Rogue City is a great gift for fans of the film series, created with great love for the source material. The game boasts a wonderful atmosphere, excellent shooting and many optional activities that further reveal the universe of the franchise. After “The Terminator” and “RoboCop”, I would like to hope that the Teyon studio will continue to release games based on other cult films.