Review: Rush’N Attack: Ex Patriot
Rush’N Attack’s map screen can’t hold a solid frame rate. It stutters when you zoom in and out, and even when you pan around the screen. Konami’s retro revival staggers on to digital platforms bearing little resemblance to its forebears, and more than a little resemblance to Shadow Complex. It seems that developer Vatra wanted to make a Metroidvania game, but struggled with everything that makes those game great, or perhaps even good. Rush’N Attack isn’t a retro revival, it’s the game that ensures a franchise never comes back.
If you want to boil Rush’N Attack down to basics, it’s a side scrolling action game. Playing as a generic soldier that I’ve already forgotten the name of, you’re going to shoot and slice your way through three chapters, each roughly an hour long. In these chapters, you’re going to have objectives, and by god you’re going to complete every single one of them. If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to progress through certain doors to the end of the level. Every objective in the game is either “push switch”, “collect item”, or sometimes even the particularly daring “kill guy”. It’s often banal, with little room for actively caring about your objective, aside from the intense desire to finish the game before it indeed finishes you.
Rush’N Attack seems perfectly content with destroying itself though, with a frame rate that fluctuates from “mildly annoying”, to “5”. When the action gets what you might describe as frantic, the entire experience becomes even clunkier than it already is. In Rush’N Attack’s case, that is actually no mean feat. The combat, while fun for the first 5 minutes, is repetitive and bland. When you actually pick up a weapon, things get worse, with dicey controls for firing leading to many missed shots. Of course, the enemies all have perfect aim, which in turn leads to a whole bunch of unnecessary deaths and necessary cursing.
Rush’N Attack also demonstrates how good sound design can make a game bearable though, or at least alleviate some of the pain. The entire experience sounds like it’s being heard through water, and the little spoken dialogue there is is spoken at a volume so low and inaudible that I think the developers were embarrassed by the quality of the voice work, and wanted to hide it from the entire world. In addition, there’s a sound clip that plays whenever you stealth kill an enemy. I now want to wipe it from my memory entirely, as repeatedly hearing it throughout the game might have spoiled my brain.
Rush’N Attack: Ex Patriot is by far the most needless retro revival in existence. It doesn’t do anything to cater to fans of the original’s gameplay, and it doesn’t bring anything new to the table to entice new players. Quite simply, it has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- The basic melee combat isn't terrible.
What I Dislike:
- Horribly designed levels.
- Tedious gameplay
- Horrific frame rate and sound design