Now, on to the last of our Eurogamer previews. Retro City Rampage is an open-world game which has been expertly crafted by GTA fan Brian Provinciano over the course of many years. Already available on Playstation 3, PSVita, Wii, Xbox Live and PC, this popular indie gem is now making its way to the 3DS. I was pleasantly surprised to spot it in the indie section at Eurogamer, and made sure I got stuck in. Here are my thoughts.
Available modes in the Eurogamer demo included Story Mode, Arcade Challenge and Free Roaming Mode. It is in the former I spent the majority of my time. Now, from reading the gamesTM review of the title I knew this game was going to be packed full of references to other games (jokingly estimated to be ‘billions’ by Kotaku) but I was still surprised at how thick and fast they came along. In the short time I played it I spotted references to Sonic the Hedgehog, Back to the Future, Doki Doki Panic and Duck Tales among many others!
The controls are exactly like Grand Theft Auto : China Town Wars on the original DS, so very easy to pick up. The pace is extremely fast (trust me on this) with cutscenes appearing frequently and constantly changing gameplay. One minute you’re doing traditional GTA tasks like stealing cars and shooting enemies, the next you’re climbing ladders in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired sewer, soon followed by a race across a busy road using Sonic sneakers! It’s frantic to say the least!
Visuals are presented in a pixelated 8 bit style. Not being a massive fan of low res graphics in new games this is something I was sceptical about (although I’m aware this visual style will be a plus point to many out there). However, on inspection there is clearly so much detail to them, so much care having clearly been invested, that the whole thing just works brilliantly. Further, the game’s speedy pace really helps create a graphical work that is quite unique (I don’t remember seeing anything nearly so fast in any 8-bit games I tried, not even the Sonic ones!)
It is the constant frenzy of ideas that both makes the game so unique and fun to play, but is also its biggest sour point in a sense. At times I felt the action escaping me and all becoming a little too much. In its defence I will say, however, that a large convention probably isn’t the ideal-est place to try such a content-rich title, as they tend to be overwhelming experiences in themselves. Given the game’s high reviews pretty much across the board I’m sure this pace is something one simply gets used to after playing for a few hours. I certainly won’t write the title off just yet. Indeed I’m planning on getting it.
In conclusion, Retro City Rampage is shaping up to be one of the finest titles on the 3DS eStore. It is unique, funny and contains a range of references so large it will literally make your head explode. Easily one of the most intriguing sandbox titles out there, and a fine demonstration of what indie developers can produce with enough time and perseverance.