Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken puts you in control of a war child (war chick) that has grown up into a ruthless killing machine. I’ll avoid giving out to much of the story, but at some point an event happens and our protagonist; Hardboiled comes to his senses and begins to take the fight to the tyranny taking over the world. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is a remake of RatLoop Asia’s successful browser based game that shares a similar name: Rocketbirds: Revolution! Considering that it is a remake of a web browser game, I honestly did not have high expectations for this game. Very few games are able to carry their success over from one medium to another, the question we will answer by the end of this review is: “Does the ‘Cock of War’ (No joke, the protagonist is referenced as the “Cock of War”) have what it takes to successfully penetrate gamer’s hearts and their PS3s. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the obvious pun.) Read more to find out.
Rocketbirds provides players with a moderately lengthy 15 chapter single player campaign. There is a local co-op campaign that offers up a completely different story and experience from the single player campaign. You have a choice of several different mercenary birds that embark on a 10 chapter long mission to save the General’s daughter. During your game play you will encounter a variety of puzzles that will hinder your progress until you solve them. One feature that you don’t see very often in today’s gaming world is the ability to highjack an enemy and play as them, affectionately called: “Brain Bugging” in Rocketbirds. This gameplay element will be a key to solving many of these puzzles and making your way to the end of the game.
(Gameplay & AI)
Rocketbirds offers up the same type of platform shooter experience you would come to expect from the genre. The gameplay is easy to pick up and play and it is also very familiar when you think of such classics as Megaman or Contra. The only difference is that there really aren’t any actual boss battles in Rocketbirds with the exception of the protagonist’s rival: Brno (No that is not a typo that is how his name is spelled.) There are a few different weapons at Hardboiled’s disposal such as the handgun, SMG, shotgun, etc. However, there isn’t a lot of variance between them and they all share the same ammo. What sets Rocketbirds apart from other titles in the same genre is the inclusion of jetpacks. The jetpack adds a nice touch to the game play and a break from all of the ground combat, but there are only 4 levels that it actually has it. That doesn’t really work against the game considering it has 15 levels in the solo campaign. For the most part the game is pretty easy, there is no option to change the difficulty and it can be finished within 5 hours. The AI is pretty simple minded and is only stuck on one procedure, shoot on sight. But that’s something that we have come to expect from your typical shooter.
(Sound & Visuals)
The soundtrack is provided by an indie band called New World Revolution and the songs that were selected fit the mood of the game. In all honesty, I never even heard of New World Revolution before I played this game. But ever since I played through and finished the game, I can’t get some of the songs out of my head. Like “Illuminate me”, for example, made me want to look up more information on the band. This choice of music is a testament to how video games can be beneficial for other businesses. Basically it’s a form of word of mouth, if you will. Overall, the audio experience of the game is top quality. The voice acting is decent, but some of the emotion behind the words could be a little better and more convincing.
The art style is cell shading, reminiscent of another flash/browser based game that found success: Alien Hominid, except more refined and modernized. The details to the game’s environments are truly amazing and it definitely raises the bar in some respects to the competition. The cutscenes help convey the story considerably and drives you to play the game longer just to see more of the amazing art. To make the art stand out more, the game has 3D support. So those of you who own a 3D, you can enjoy the penguin splattering action in 3D.
(Conclusion & Thoughts)
To be perfectly honest, I’m a little disappointed in myself for not knowing about Rocketbirds until this exclusive clucked its way onto the PSN. But now that it is here, I can’t wait to see more. This game deserves to find a spot in the PSN store’s PSN Essentials. The trophies are relatively easy to get and there’s a shiny platinum trophy involved. The only thing that I cannot get past is the lack of online co-op, I really hope that when we see another Rocketbirds title, we will have online co-op for the PS3.
4.5 out of 5
A PSN must have essential, worth the price for an easy platinum trophy
Amazing art. Amazing cinematic sequences
Soundtrack fits the game and isn’t annoying in the slightest
The addition of a different story for co-op mode makes it feel like there are 2 games in 1
No online co-op