There’s always a certain charm to playing an 8-bit stylized game. A combination of nostalgia and familiarity makes everything more entertaining. Retro City Rampage takes the look to a whole new level. Pixelated characters and blocky building design all compliment the atmosphere established by the game. Furthermore, it’s cleverly enhanced with newer gaming concepts as well. For example, there might be a bunch of objects that look straight out of a Super Nintendo game. However, it has the destructibility and interactivity that is only possible with today’s technology.
Good looks can only take a game so far, though. Thankfully, Retro City Rampage has another trick under its sleeve: It’s funny. Really funny. There’re hundreds of small riddles, jokes, and homages to every part of video game and pop culture. The main story integrates a part from Back To The Future, you meet up with various individuals that are parodies of famous game characters, and there’s a ton of little details that really bring out the charm in Retro City Rampage.
Essentially designed by one person, Brian Provinciano, it is apparent that great care was poured into every little aspect of the game. The main game boils down to top-down Grand Theft Auto with wackier characters and sillier scenarios. While the story is funny and fantastic, the open-world aspect isn’t as interesting. It’s always fun to find a new detail or hidden joke at some remote corner, but after you run over the first 100 civilians, it becomes pretty standard. By sticking strictly to the 8-bit concept, the gunplay is very simplistic and scenarios don’t really expand beyond the “go from A to B to kill C and pick up D”. In an attempt to create the most authentic retro experience, it has ignored many improvements in gaming mechanics in the past few years. Even so, the charming style and the novelty behind the whole concept makes the game worth checking out. Expect a more in-depth look in an upcoming review sometime this weekend.