Remakes have been a popular focus in the past several years, with older movies, TV shows, and video games getting a fresh coat of paint. In some instances, such as RoboCop: Rogue City, classic films are revitalized with new video game adaptions. These favorites from years past can be the perfect way to infuse a little nostalgia into the modern gaming atmosphere.
Gamepur had a chance to sit down with RoboCop: Rogue City developers for an early preview of the FPS title currently slotted for a fall 2023 release. The game has a lot to offer fans of brutal, violent shooter games, but unfortunately, the source material it was inspired by seems to have aged a bit awkwardly.
Rogue City Is Even Sleeker Than Robocop’s Armor
RoboCop: Rogue City does a fantastic job of setting up the stakes in the dark, gritty streets of Detroit. From the sleek buildings and glittering windows to the effects of shotgun blasts ripping through concrete pillars, players will quickly find themselves immersed in the violence and high-octane action of their missions.
However, these beautiful environments in RoboCop: Rogue City create a bit of an uncanny valley when looking at our mechanical protagonist – as RoboCop looks unsettlingly stiff. Thankfully, most gameplay is from the perspective of RoboCop, so players only have to deal with his ken-doll-like body movements and plastic expressions during cutscenes. That said, it definitely takes away from the overall polish the rest of the game offers.
The same tense models and awkward graphics also apply to most of the human characters, all of which feel a bit stiff, making the hyper-realistic textures feel a bit out of place on taut facial expressions and rigid walk cycles. This is especially jarring when applied to the game’s antagonists, the Torch Heads. Their wild make-up, clownish hairstyles, and ripped clothing give them a Batman’s Joker vibe that leaves the player appropriately unsettled – though maybe not for the right reasons.
Low-Risk Combat Is Perfect For Decimating Opponents
In the preview of RoboCop: Rogue City, I was given the chance to test out RoboCop’s abilities while dealing with the Torch Heads as they took over the local news station. The breech-and-destroy rescue mission was filled with carnage as I picked up weapons, took out lurking gang members, and collected evidence left all over the news building.
The gameplay for RoboCop: Rogue City is perfect for those who would rather stand and aim at their targets rather than use stealth for an advantage. The game encourages you to use RoboCop’s bulky, metal body as a shield, with the ability to pick up large objects to throw at opponents or even get up close for powerful physical attacks. Additionally, RoboCop can take heavy gunfire damage with relative ease, allowing the player to mow down opponents with moderately low risk to their safety.
The real challenge comes in protecting those that are less indestructible. Players will be tasked with taking down enemies within a certain time frame to prevent casualties to hostages. A failure to act quickly can result in the death of anyone that might have otherwise been rescued. This places much-needed urgency on the tasks at hand, which would otherwise feel almost easy if all RoboCop needed to do was kill his adversaries.
RoboCop: Rogue City is Definitely Set in the 80’s
Inspired by the original futuristic, cyberpunk films set in the late ’80s, RoboCop: Rogue City delivers on the setting, culture, and societal expectations of the time. While this is excellent for nostalgic fans of the original films, as someone born after the release of the first film, I found the references, derogatory language, and sexism a bit overwhelming.
From the start of the game, players will encounter sex workers catcalling RoboCop, as well as being negatively stereotyped in the police department after the first mission concludes. Additionally, the antagonist group known as the Torch Heads portrays some unpleasant stereotypes common at the time regarding a correlation between punk culture and criminal engagement/drug use.
As someone who grew up in a time where colored hair, tattoos, and piercing were all normal and not included on the checklist for maniac drug dealers, they felt both over the top and, on occasion, openly offensive – especially as the “good guys” are suit-wearing police officers with manicured hair.
Because of this, I think it’s possible younger audiences may have a hard time connecting with the narrative, despite the excellent FPS gameplay and alluring graphics.
Overall, RoboCop: Rogue City is a beautiful game that utilizes Unreal Engine 5 to deliver stunning environments filled with smooth, action-pact combat. The game’s authenticity to the source material will have fans of the movies delighted, offering a completely different way to interact with the world of Rogue City.
While it may not be for everyone, and it is too early to say how deep the plotline surrounding RoboCop’s effectiveness as a police officer will go, it seems like a promising adventure for those looking to spend time in an iconic sci-fi setting.