Friday, October 12, 2012

Retro City Rampage Gameplay Review

I'm playing Retro City Rampage, a nostalgic open-world combat parody by Vblank Entertainment.

The game takes its cue from Grand Theft Auto, mixing in inspired mini-games and plenty of references to gaming and the 80's and 90's. The story mode is where the main part of the content is located, with over sixty varied missions that offer driving, shooting, and more esoteric activities like swimming and rhythmic exercises (among many others); between missions, you can taxi people around or play arcade adaptations of popular indie games. Shops can be used to purchase weapons, alter your appearance, or upgrade your vehicle. Also included in the story mode (or accessible from the main menu) are over forty arcade challenges that offer objective, weapon-specific, and story-based goals with online leaderboards. There is also a generally pointless free roaming mode that loses direction without missions to complete. Controls are terrible: the WASD and arrow keys are used for movement and shooting, a clear adaptation of a dual-stick system. It does not work well with needlessly cramped inputs and you cannot change any of the control settings; using the mouse to shoot would have offered a vast improvement in this area. Weapons include standard (pistol, shotgun, submachine gun) and exotic (the proton pack from Ghostbusters) options, and the vehicles, though occasionally difficult to control, are varied in their characteristics. You can also find power-ups to increase running speed or cloak from those pesky police officers. The game usually has a breakneck pace and offers the next mission in quick succession, always keeping you busy and wondering what wacky adventures await. Despite shortcomings in the control scheme, Retro City Rampage offers a lot of content (for the price), varied missions, and humorous references to expand upon the classic open-world formula.