Entertainment

Games: RoboCop: Rogue City nails look and feel of 80s action cinema classic

Bucket Boy is back online in RoboCop: Rogue City
Bucket Boy is back online in RoboCop: Rogue City Bucket Boy is back online in RoboCop: Rogue City

RoboCop: Rogue City (Multi)


By: Nacon

SINCE first shooting up the silver screen in 1987, Detroit's cyborg enforcer has been done dirty with a glut of inferior sequels and remakes. And now, steel-bonced copper Alex Murphy – the lumbering lawman crooks can hear coming a mile away – returns for the first RoboCop game in 20 years, with a love letter to Paul Verhoeven's campy, satirical original. You have 20 seconds to comply…

Taking place between RoboCop 2 and 3 (no, me neither), Rogue City's original story kicks off with a local TV station overrun with crazed gang members and follows Detroit PD's conflict with the Torch Heads and big bad Wendell 'The New Guy' Antonowsky. It's up to Alex Murphy – cinema's second-most iconic tin man – to clean up the streets.

Carving a bullet-hole-shaped furrow through baddies with his trusty, leg-holstered Auto-9 pistol, Murphy can also grab objects to chuck and punch or throw punks about. And, in true RoboCop style, you'll score extra kudos for blowing heads off or shooting ne'er-do-wells in their no-good groins.

Like RoboCop himself, Rogue City's mechanical frame still packs plenty of brains, with skill trees to climb, dialogue choices and multiple side quests. Maybe you'll rescue hostages, maybe you'll use them as fleshy collateral – the choice is yours, and it influences how others react to you.

Downtown Detroit is a semi-open world with grimy streets and filthy back alleys to explore as you chase down leads, but you can uphold the law en-route, from busting drug rings to doling out parking tickets.

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RoboCop: Rogue City features Peter Weller as the voice of RoboCop
RoboCop: Rogue City features Peter Weller as the voice of RoboCop RoboCop: Rogue City features Peter Weller as the voice of RoboCop

A 76-year-old Peter Weller returns to his most famous role for the first time since 1990's RoboCop 2, and the septuagenarian star's deadpan delivery is a highlight in the game's acting bag, which stays just the right side of cheesy.

And there's plenty for fans to gorge on, from its celluloid-perfect recreation of Murphy's retro-green targeting system to an iconic battle with cyber-chicken ED-209.

In truth, RoboCop is unlike any other shooter on the market. Far from a nimble warrior, our hero's gimmick is his glacial, tank-like movement, and the game revels in its bullet sponge star. With no crouching or jumping, you'll waddle from one firefight to the next like a sack of spanners, and while there's an unlockable sprint option, it's still more of a brisk dander.

RoboCop: Rogue City is the first RoboCop game for 20 years
RoboCop: Rogue City is the first RoboCop game for 20 years RoboCop: Rogue City is the first RoboCop game for 20 years

Nailing Verhoeven's satire on Reaganite corporate greed, Rogue City apes the original movie's vision of the future, complete with shoot-outs in neon arcades and VHS stores. Throw in cheesy one-liners and Basil Poledouris' iconic RoboCop theme and you have a game that nails the look and feel of 80s action cinema, even if it can't quite stay out of trouble on the technical front.

Like its star, Rogue City is something of a relic and prone to the odd glitch, but Peter Weller's swansong take on his 80s icon is a brutally authentic love letter to the clockwork copper.

I'd buy that for a dollar, as the man says. Actually, it'll cost you 50 quid.