After delivering what is quite possibly the best Terminator game ever made, developer Teyon has turned its attention to another classic film property, RoboCop. Putting players in control of the law-enforcing tin can himself, it’s safe to say that RoboCop: Rogue City offers quite a different experience.
While much of your time in Terminator Resistance was spent creeping around war-torn environments, avoiding enemies or getting the drop on them, here you’re much more direct. In fact, the tone is largely set in the game’s opening mission, which sees you shooting your way through a TV studio. Heads pop as you slowly move forward, relentlessy firing your pistol. Get close, and you can even pick up the punks standing in your way before throwing them out of the high-rise windows.
RoboCop Rogue City isn’t all like this, though. It eventually settles into a rhythm, mixing its more action-focused scenes with open areas where exploration also plays more of a role. There are side missions to discover, and some of them are pretty meaty and fun such as one which finds you investigating a murder. The investigation mechanics are simple, largely just requiring you to activate your enhanced vision and scan clues marked on your heads-up display, but they nicely balance out the violent action. Some missions ask you to exercise judgement, too. Do you vehemently uphold the law, or give some the benefit of doubt? Your choices may have repercussions further down the line.
Adding some depth to the whole experience are light RPG elements. You’ll earn experience as you take down punks, enforce the law and complete missions. Level up and you’ll acquire skill points, which can then be invested in a wide range of stats, providing access to new skills and more. Pump points into engineering, for example, and you’ll be able to open safes without finding their codes. Alternatively, you might want to put points into combat, giving you access to a powerful shockwave attack and increasing your damage in general.
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Like Terminator Resistance, there’s a weapon modification system here, too. Search around and you’ll acquire chips, which can be strategically placed on motherboards to increase things like damage output and armour piercing, as well as activate other benefits. You need to be careful how you place your chips, however, as if certain circuits are activated you can also reduce your stats. Multiple motherboards can be found throughout the game, with more advanced ones offering greater benefits.
Despite these RPG elements though, you might find RoboCop: Rogue City becoming a little repetitive. While you can pick up weapons dropped by enemies, you’ll largely just be using your customisable pistol. Your tank-like nature also means you’ll generally just eat bullets, while pushing forward. Some might see this as one of the game’s strengths, though: you do genuinely feel like RoboCop; half-man, half-machine, and a force to be reckoned with. Plus, popping heads and sending enemies reeling with your physical attacks is rewarding.
In terms of presentation, Robocop: Rogue City is a clear step up from Terminator Resistance, though it’s still clear this is a AA title. Playing on PS5 for review, environments look impressive, and make great use of effects to give them atmosphere. Most character models are of a high quality, too. Backed up with an enjoyable soundtrack and solid voice acting, the game does a good job of drawing you in. Only stiff animation lets it down, as well as the odd frame rate hiccup – even in performance mode.
Fans of RoboCop are likely to love Rogue City, though it’s also likely to prove appealing to those who simply like shooting up bad guys with reckless abandon. Dealing out violent justice as RoboCop rarely struggles to put a smile on your face – even if, at times, it threatens to become a tad repetitive. Throw in some light investigation and some moments of humour, and you have a game that makes effective use of a much-loved IP.