Friday, 12 August 2011

RoboCop (PC) - Guest Post


A RoboCop FPS?

Now that's more like it.

This intro's got everything! Except RoboCop music...

Some punks are shooting up the neighbourhood, blowing up vans and whatnot. RoboCop gets the call on the radio and blasts onto the scene. He sticks his head through the roof of the car...

"This is. the. police. drop. all. your. weapons."

That voice was a bit iffy... BUT THEN EXPLOSIONS!

YEAH!

The punks attack RoboCop, and RoboCop attacks back! He's striding around, shooting bad guys through windows, off rooftops, everywhere! Then there's an ED-209! With rockets! KABOOM!

Gosh that was fun. You can watch it too! (YouTube link to intro)

"Crime. will not. be tolerated. You. have been warned."

There's no RoboCop-like music on the menu screens either. They had better be saving it for awesome times.

King RoboCop has granted an audience to the police. He silently sits on his throne and hears the pleas of his subjects. Two rival gangs are battling it out right out in the street! I've got to go and take care of it. Very well.

According to this Parasite Eve style map, Neo-Detroit is actually Midgar from Final Fantasy VII. It must be producing some serious megahertz if they need a heatsink that big.

Robo's driven up to the scene. The cops are right behind me blocking the road. They've chucked in a box of ammunition but they're too chicken to actually join me in fighting crime.

The city's looking a bit basic today. It looks like it's made of cardboard and could fall down at any moment.

RoboCop's perp scanner is always active. If the bad guys are on screen, then they'll be highlighted by a red square. It's a welcome change from every other game I've played so far where I'm firing at flickering shadows just in case there's an instant-kill enemy there.

Shoot the gun out of an enemy's hands and they'll surrender and beg for mercy. If you manage to run up to them and bop 'em before the other bad guys shoot them trying to shoot you, you get points for a successful arrest. Neat, huh?

It's better in theory than in practice. Although RoboCop's deadly accurate with his gun, whether the enemies die or surrender seems to be random. I've hit an enemy with a three round burst of headshots and they don't flinch or even notice me. I've tried to shoot all the enemies in the arm which seems to get about a third of them to surrender but a lot of them die before I can bop 'em.

When you've bopped 'em, they don't run to safety, they just fade away. Cheap.

Uh oh, this situation looks desperate. One wrong move and Robo'll endanger the life of an innocent. I could use the zoom, but nah. (I didn't think I'd need it and I didn't bother mapping it. You have to quit the game to re-map the controls. Stupid game. What is this, DOS?)

Three rounds to the chest through the glass. In real life that would be extraordinarily dangerous. In RoboCop, I hit the bad guy and the good guy ran away. Success! More points for me!

What's the world coming to when the ordinary street thugs are carrying miniguns?

When RoboCop's the opposition you're likely to face, I guess you've got to be prepared for everything.

This particular guy got stuck in the wall and started to thrash and vibrate madly. I killed him so he wouldn't have to suffer, but then his corpse started flickering too.

"It's citizens like you that make my job worthwhile."

There was a small van blocking the road so RoboCop found a time bomb left by the mooks and blew it up. I don't know why he didn't simply push it aside.

By this point the targeting interface is starting to get on my nerves. Every time the enemy leaves cover and becomes visible, the red box zooms in from the edges of the screen and forms around the enemy. There's a lot of enemies and get keep moving about. Kudos to the game for not having the gun automatically aim at the bad guys for you.

This trek up the hill is pretty frustrating. Even with the target interface, it's difficult to see the enemies. RoboCop can't jump or duck and he doesn't move very fast. Your options are to stomp to the left or right, as much as the crowded street will allow, or simply to walk right up to the enemy and shoot them before they can damage you too much. There's armor and health powerups (baby food!) aplenty in the city and the enemy guns don't do that much damage.

Down the deep, dark sewers. These sewers aren't that dark, really.

Gotta love those over-the-top animated deaths.

What the hell is this!? It's an alligator-rat!?

According to the threat scanner, he's a criminal so I have to take him down.

The city level continues through to the backstreets and parking lots of a travel company. Eventually, we reach a dead end and the level stops.

Robo looks into the sky and sees THIS GUY. And THIS GUY looks down and sees Robo. And Robo looks into the sky and sees THIS GUY looking at him. Robo records this event and plays it back just in case you didn't see it the first time. Robo doesn't do anything to stop him; that would be dangerous. Perhaps. Mission complete.

This place looks like a right dump. As well it should, it's the City Dump! Today, King RoboCop has been asked to rescue the Chief of Police, who's been kidnapped and brought to the dump. It's an obvious trap. Nobody notices. RoboCop gets sent in alone. The fool.

RoboCop's got his hand-replacement machine gun from RoboCop 3! I tried to use it in a hostage situation, ended up hitting an explosive barrel, killing everyone.

"Soooo-rry!"

He does not sound like he means it.

I'm shocked to report that killing an innocent does not result in an instant game over! In fact, all it does is take off ten points of power!

That bastard KENNETH Scott won't shut up. There's some kind of boundary in the level and every time I cross it, his face appears and tells me that there's hostages to be rescued. I KNOW.

The punks have themselves a robot! It's not an ED-209, but it's still a robot!

The gun animations are lame. Firing the gun has two near identical frames so it's difficult to figure out whether or not you really fired at all. I hold the button down and hope for the best.

ARGH! The robot suddenly blew up and killed me!

Now I have to watch Police Academy! ARGH!

Robo spins like a top on this screen. It's making me dizzy.

And restarting has put me right back at the start of the dump level. That's just great. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a checkpoint in the whole of the city level as well. Bluh.

RoboCop is a cheaply made game about a near-invincible metal guy who shoots lots of goons in acceptably naff environments. I wouldn't buy it for a dollar. If you want to see RoboCop, watch the film. If you want to play as RoboCop, put a bucket on your head. Don't play this game by mistake.

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