Since its announcement, RoboCop Rogue City has aroused a lot of curiosity and interest in all those who are lovers of the film franchise. Set between the events of RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3, RoboCop Rogue City deals with an original story, but which at the same time blends in with the plot of the films. On the occasion of the Steam Next Fest, the developers made the RoboCop Rogue City demo available, in which we can take part in the very first missions of the game, so that we can get an idea of what the final game could be.
RoboCop demo plot
The RoboCop demo opens with a long cutscene that immediately takes us into the crux of the story. We learn, thanks to a news broadcast, that a “new guy” has arrived in the city and is wreaking havoc on the streets of the city. While the journalist is intent on telling us the details of the matter, a group of criminals breaks into the television studios and decides to use the broadcast to send a message to this individual.
The situation soon degenerates and the group takes several people who work in the building hostage. It is at this point that RoboCop, and consequently us, enters the game by arriving at the scene of the incident. With his partner Lewis, RoboCop enters the building killing anyone who comes in front of him, without any pleasantries. Having arrived to save a group of hostages, Lewis stays behind to help them, while RoboCop continues his advance until he reaches the main room, where the criminals were transmitting their message.
One of them, in desperation due to withdrawal from Nuke, the drug in vogue at the time, takes a woman hostage and threatens RoboCop to kill her if he doesn't listen to her request to bring him some Nuke. However, RoboCop, instead of stepping forward and neutralizing the threat, hesitates, and Lewis will then kill him. The two return to base to the applause of the entire district, but the chief has no good news. One of the hostages, in fact, had filmed the whole story, and therefore public opinion was starting to doubt Robocop's reliability. For this reason, RoboCop is subjected to some checks, and a chip is inserted to monitor his behavior, before being sent on a mission again.
RoboCop's new mission is to find the leader of the criminal group that had attacked the television building previously. His searches send him to an arcade on the outskirts, in a not-very-wealthy neighborhood. However, the owner of the place will not be happy with the visit and decides not to talk to Robocop. At this point, after getting rid of him and his henchmen, he finds some useful information that allows him to find a contact that could lead him on the right path.
Once he arrives at the place where he is held prisoner and after having made a clean sweep of all his enemies, RoboCop, and the man will have a conversation about Scoot, the leader of the criminal group. The man will say he knows where to find him and will offer to help in RoboCop's mission. This is how the RoboCop demo ends, at least as far as the main story is concerned, but we are left with the possibility of completing the secondary missions not yet completed and freely wandering around the map.
RoboCop demo gameplay
From a gameplay point of view, there are some aspects of it that didn't completely convince us, but let's proceed step by step. RoboCop Rogue City presents itself as a game in which there is an open world that can be explored between one mission and another. Speaking of missions, in addition to those that characterize the main story of the game and which therefore must be completed to see the credits, in RoboCop Rogue City there are also secondary missions and activities that we can complete.
Since we play as a police officer, both activities are related to tasks that any policeman, even in real life, has the possibility of facing. For example, we will be able to issue fines, or assist people who go to the station for any type of problem. Furthermore, on this occasion, you will decide what response to give to your interlocutor, choosing a harsher or more human path. However, at least as far as the demo is concerned, choosing one path over another wouldn't seem to have any different effects, but we hope that this is something that will be present in the final version of the game.
The actual gameplay, in terms of combat, doesn't shine. The movements, both of our character and those of the enemies, are not the best and the AI is often deficient. In fact, often the enemies will not find shelter and will not try to implement a very elaborate strategy, but will simply appear in front of you and start shooting wildly. A game mechanic that doesn't seem very congenial to us, especially given the standards we've become accustomed to in recent years. We hope that the development team works on the intelligence of the AI and our character's movements, so as to make them more fluid and truthful in the final version of RoboCop Rogue City.
Our alter ego will have at his disposal a gun and other weapons that he can pick up and use to kill enemies, as well as being able to use practically any other object around him to eliminate the threat. In the event that we are injured, we can make use of special objects that restore our health and which can be found almost everywhere in the game world. Furthermore, RoboCop will also have different skills that we can unlock over time by acquiring points by completing missions and objectives. However, the RoboCop demo does not allow us to examine this aspect of the game in depth.
RoboCop demo technical side
From a technical point of view, the RoboCop demo does not suffer from major problems related to stability or textures, however, some of the character animations did not completely convince us. Looking carefully at the cutscenes, we can see how the characters do not seem to be truly real and with their own lifeblood, but mostly seem like robots, precisely. And if this is not a problem for the protagonist as he is truly a robot, for the other characters who are human, this lack of emotion that shines through is certainly not a good sight.
The sound and effects sector of the RoboCop demo, however, is very good and succeeds in its aim to involve the player, especially in the more adrenaline-filled phases of the game. Finally, we would like to say that the entire UI of the RoboCop demo was created to immerse the player 100% in the protagonist of the game, making us see everything as if we were truly RoboCop. That is, to explain better, the interface will really seem like a sort of computer with which to interact, thanks also to the choice of style and colors that the developers have adopted.