RoboCop is an IP that has somewhat of a niche fanbase. With the height of his popularity peaking from the mid-80s to the mid-90s the titular character never got the chance to have a good game to his name despite several attempts. With RoboCop: Rogue City, that has now changed. As an avid fan of the movies, and the animated series, it’s good to see a proper game that does the IP justice and isn’t just another “I’d buy that for a dollar” deal. This game is worth every dollar! and in my RoboCop: Rogue City Review, I’ll explain why.
The game takes place after the events of RoboCop 2 (1990). Nuke (the dangerous street drug) is still plaguing the streets of Detroit and Alex Murphy is tasked with ridding the city of the scourge. Partnering with Anne Lewis along the way, you also take part in different missions to solve other crimes around the city. You’ll take part in mini-side missions where you have to deliver a certain number of citations when in the semi-open world, and all of RoboCop’s iconic mannerisms, weapons, and even the familiar walking are here in sound and gameplay!
The story does a brilliant job of touching upon Alex’s human side, as the wall that divides RoboCop’s robotic persona from his human side of Alex Murphy starts to overlap during certain key moments in the story, and this is something that reminds us about how RoboCop isn’t a full machine. This side story also has a very touching aspect to it that fans of the original trilogy will definitely appreciate.
Without spoiling too much of the plot, this is the ideal RoboCop game as you take to the streets to handle the main plot, and side quests, handing out citations, and warnings, and even help change a few lives along the way.
With a semi-morality system in the game, how you handle certain interactions with citizens and criminals in the city can change your ending which makes this an even more immersive experience and well worth the replay for the other ending!
RoboCop is literally a tank. Thankfully he can do a semi-sprint instead of the menacingly slow walking which is a welcome gameplay feature. One can only imagine how long the game would take if you could only walk at his regular speed. As the titular character, you have access to his iconic scan ability to aid you in combat, solving crimes, and aiding your missions by helping piece together clues that would otherwise have made the mission difficult and offer an easier way to solve a case.
As RoboCop, you have your trusty Auto-9 with infinite ammo, but you can also pick up a variety of enemy weapons such as the Micro-SMG, AK-47, and more during combat sections. Albeit you have to look for their ammo and manually pick it up. This is still a great way to broaden the cop’s arsenal of weapons.
The game also offers a level of gore and dismemberment that feels satisfying. The explosive power of his signature weapon is capable of blowing heads up and severing limbs, and yes, you can even shoot enemies in the groin for a trophy.
As you play the game, you also get experience points that reward skill points which can go into one of the many facets of your gameplay experience. This is a mini-RPG in itself as you can change every aspect of RoboCop through this. How his interactions with citizens and criminals go by putting points in Psychology, or you can put points in Armor, Vitality, Combat, and many other parts of his brain to make him the best possible version you want to see.
In another instance of borrowing from RPG elements, the game also encourages you to put more points in certain parts of the skill tree to get rewards later in the game. An example of this is how in the early game you are unable to open a safe unless you have Engineering level 6, which is impossible to get at that point, but it also motivates you to find out why that particular trait is worth investing into.
Aside from ranged combat, you can also pick up objects in the environment such as chairs, and explosive canisters, and hurl them at enemies, but you can also just go straight up to enemies and melee them with his robotic hand that is a one-hit kill in itself. Another aspect of the close-range combat I appreciate is being able to grab enemies and hurl them into their comrades, or even into the level for a satisfying splat.
All of the aspects one would want from an ideal RoboCop game are here, and no one can tell me otherwise!
The game has a strong visual aspect. The graphics do a brilliant job of illustrating a war-torn Detroit overtaken by poverty, drugs, and the law doing what they can do to keep things in order. You visit semi-open world sections of a neighborhood, abandoned factories, and other places where criminals and gangs prevail. Each area is authentic to the source material with regard to how dilapidated the place is supposed to look.
The graphics at times resemble the movie itself, especially when you see the reflection and shine on Robocop’s helmet. The immersion is broken when you see any other human character such as Anne Lewis or other people on the screen but otherwise, the locales of the city do a fantastic job of illustrating the situation in the city no matter which ending you get.
Whether you’re going into shady hotels, or investigating an arcade that is also pushing drugs, the interior and exterior scenes do a great job of capturing the visual style of the movie. Even Robocop’s signature green scanlines are well done in this presentation and how each line works separately in helping pinpoint an enemy is another great detail I appreciated.
I did notice some issues with framerate in heavy combat situations but this was understandable as there was a mix of explosions, particle effects, and more. Even in performance mode, I felt like it went to the near 30 FPS range, if only for a few moments. Otherwise, the presentation really does a fantastic job of nailing the atmosphere and accuracy of the world RoboCop serves and protects.
The game was a great experience overall, my only complaint was the occasional slowdown and how sometimes Trophies would not unlock at the points they were supposed to. I had to restart the game from the home menu to fix this issue and make them pop, and carefully keep track of this with the trophy list of the game open.
What did you think of our RoboCop: Rogue City review? Share what you think about it in the comments below.
This review is based on the PS5 version of RoboCop: Rogue City. The key was provided by Nacon and Dead Good Media.