RoboCop is back in RoboCop: Rogue City. The player takes on the role of the famous 80s action hero. In crime-ridden Detroit, it’s up to RoboCop to enforce the law and clean up the streets. Several attempts have been made to revive Robocop. So he had a cameo in it Mortal Kombat 11 and another film was released in 2014 that was unfortunately not very successful. Is this old action hero interesting enough to deliver a good game?
In RoboCop: Rogue City As the name suggests, you play as the world-famous cyborg. This RPG shooter with a big nod to the 80s was a huge surprise for me. The game offers fascinating gunfights, a large amount of blood, delicious cliché humor in the form of great one-liners and an interesting story. Detroit is overrun with drugs and gang violence because a ‘New Guy’ has arrived in town. The ‘New Guy’ is a crime boss and all of Detroit’s gangs are trying to get his attention. The game starts off strong when RoboCop is deployed to solve a hostage situation at a television studio. A group of criminals calling themselves the ‘Torch Heads’ (a group of psychotic punks) floods Detroit with the drug ‘Nuke’. They try to attract the attention of the ‘New Guy’ through a live hostage situation in order to make a deal with him. It’s up to RoboCop and his trusty ‘Auto-9’ pistol to calm the situation with brute force.
RoboCop: Rogue Citytakes place after the second film and manages to convey the feeling of the 80s very well. The environments you visit, the old monitors and the classic cars fit the setting perfectly and manage to replicate the feeling of the films. The feeling of actually being RoboCop is done perfectly. What modern shooters often emphasize is speed and agility. In RoboCop: Rogue City you are slow and built like a tank. You’re so heavy you can’t even jump, and you can walk through a sea of bullets without taking too much damage. You can repair the damage that RoboCop sustains with a repair kit. RoboCop is strong but certainly not invincible, it is certainly possible to die, especially when explosives are brought to the firefight.
The gunfights are very well done, the blood is flying everywhere and when it’s over it’s like it was mincemeat day at the butcher’s shop. Thanks to your RoboCop-Vision you can find all kinds of things and also quickly see where your enemies are hiding. It also works well while tracking and scanning various hints scattered throughout the world. Which I will come back to later, RoboCop: Rogue City is not just banal shooting. During gunfights you can pick up different types of weapons. These have a limited number of bullets, but you can always fall back on your Auto-9 pistol. For this weapon you carry an infinite number of bullets. You can use almost anything as a weapon, for example you can pick up a fire extinguisher and throw it at your enemies. This creates a thick white mist and quite a bang. You can also do this with gas bottles, mines, motorcycles and even with your opponents themselves. The explosions of both explosives and human limbs then fill the screen.
RoboCop is damaged after the first mission and therefore experiences several flashbacks from the past and suffers from a number of glitches. Unfortunately, this is filmed and some people lose confidence in the robotic police officer. Over the course of the story we get to know RoboCop better and you also have to go through several therapy sessions. It’s clear that RoboCop is struggling with his humanity. I’m not going to say too much about this because: spoilers. After the first mission the game expands, you get the opportunity to ‘free roam’ in different zones. There are various side missions in the zones or you can choose to go directly to the main mission. Naturally, you’ll get better rewards if you do side missions. This earns you experience points that you can invest in various perks in a skill tree. For example, you can get more life points or choose to become stronger in battles (which is most of the game). There are eight branches in the skill tree, so choose wisely. You also get the option to upgrade your Auto-9 pistol with computer chips. For the Auto-9 you can find different motherboards that make different upgrades possible.
The world is filled with all kinds of little details that make the game even more fun. As a true police officer, you can simply issue a parking fine or give troublemakers a warning. How you resolve certain situations influences how the audience feels about RoboCop. The choices you make do not have much influence on the game itself, but it is a nice touch. I would have liked to see more consequences to the choices. Robocop: Rogue City is not an open world game. There are several zones in a row where you can free-roam. So the game is ultimately relatively linear.
Robocop: Rogue City has a large group of different types of enemies and it is therefore necessary to adjust your strategy accordingly later. Sometimes it is necessary to blow up your opponent’s cover or, for example, go around a machine gun nest while being shot at with grenades. The best action moments are when you break through a closed door or wall. You then smash the door with brute force and you then have five seconds in slow motion to shoot as many enemies as possible. Sometimes there are also hostages and it is necessary to rescue them before they are killed.
Robocop: Rogue City is a very entertaining game but unfortunately does become repetitive. I’ve also been bothered sometimes by how slowly you move. I understand that a robot weighing a few tons is not very fast, but a little faster would have been nice. Graphically the game is well put together, the effects are well made and the gunfights are a feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, the voice actors should have tried a little harder. Sometimes the words are out of sync with the characters and RoboCop himself is overly emotionless. Some of the gang members, on the other hand, have been made too loud again. This does not always improve credibility.
Robocop: Rogue City Despite its shortcomings, it is a surprisingly entertaining game and does justice to the films from the 80s. I don’t think the game is for every first-person shooter fan, but if you are a fan of RoboCop then you can enjoy it with Robocop: Rogue City have a lot of fun. Old Detroit is very beautiful and detailed. The game is very faithful to the films and if you want to feel like a robotic killing machine, this game is for you.
Played on Xbox Series X|S, also available for PS5 and PC.