Retro City Rampage Review

Retro City Rampage, from what I’ve been hearing, started as a demake of GTA 1 or 2, so a fun project. But during it’s development this “demake” spurred into something altogether, something beautiful and the end result is fun, exciting and amazing.

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What is RCR and why should you buy it? That’s what we discuss in our Retro City Rampage Review

So what is Retro City Rampage? Well it’s a 8-bit open world game set in the cleverly named city, Theftropolis. You play as Player, a low-life henchman who wants to climb stairs of criminal hierarchy. OK, but that’s it? Well if that was all, I wouldn’t recommend this game. No Retro City Rampage is so much more. Since the beginning, since the opening sequence you’ll notice that RCR is something special. The game has a ton and I mean a ton of nostalgic references, cameos from the 80s, 90s and pop culture. Do you remember the show Supercar with Hasselhoff? Well he and Kit are here. Ghostbusters? Sure they are here. Back to the Future? Robocop? Megaman? Duck Hunter? Zelda? Mario? Paperboy? The Dark Knight? And a million other references? They are all present here, in a form or another. The whole game feels like a tribute to them, but a tribute that makes fun of them most of the times, in a good sense.

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There are a total of 60 or so main missions in Retro City Rampage and they all are crazy and fun to play and see. You’ll rob a bank like in Dark Knight opening sequence, meet Jester (Joker), kick Doctor Who in the n*ts and steal the Tardis, meet yourself from the future and ride the DeLorean, steal Biffman (Batman) identity, house and gizmos etc. Yes the story goes places you would never imagine… It is really fun to play and see what’s going to happen next. Apart from the main storyline, there are also a ton of challenges you can do, a lot of minigames, cool minigames inspired by other Indie games like Super Meat Boy, Bit.Trip, ‘Splosion Man etc. Completing these will earn you special costumes with special abilities you can use in the free roaming mode of the game. To complete missions you will need wheels and weapons and here, there are many to choose from. More than 50 vehicles, each customizable and more than 25 weapons and powerups. The weapons range from bats, guitars to pistol, rocket launchers, photon beams etc. from normal to crazy. The power-ups ranges from super speed, to flying suits, bionic suits etc. You better discover the rest for yourself.

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Like I said there is a ton of stuff to do and a lot more stuff to see. And to think that all of Retro City Rampage was done only by one man, Mister Brian Provinciano, truly a one man army!

As I said a one man army, that explains the long development the game had. I can imagine working day and night, with a very limited budget he managed to create something beautiful and funny like RCR. I especially liked in the game where he makes fun and takes puns at big publishers on the video game industry, showing how they “destroy” entire studios, shut down indie developers and cancel they games. And I think that this is the main reason he created this game, to show that if you got the guts and passion you can create something beautiful without the help of big soul-eating publishers.

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Aesthetically the game reincarnates the 8-bit graphics from the SNES era which is totally beautiful to look at even scaled at a 42′ HDTV.   The music is also original and the sound effects pay homage to great SNES titles. There are also a large number of filters that will change the look of the game, which are a neat and welcomed feature. Theftropolis is filled with references, every building, every corner, just everything is a reference to pop culture. Let me tell you that you will always have a smile on your face while playing Retro City Rampage, believe me, I did!

We have a copy of the game to giveaway courtesy of its developer. All you have to do is comment below with your thoughts about the game and click here.

But RCR has also it’s problems, mainly it’s controls. They work, but they are also wonky. Running and gunning can be sometimes difficult to pull off, driving around can become “boring”, checkpoints lack somehow, it can get a little repetitive and then there’s the difficulty spikes. Fighting goons with blunt weapons in large rooms is easy, but fighting rocket-launcher goons in small rooms, it’s quite difficult at times and you will die, many many times.

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So what is Retro City Rampage in a nutshell? It’s an exciting 8-bit open-world game with small problems, that parodies amazingly everything from the past/present pop culture while paying tribute to them and puts a smile on our faces! So should you buy it? I think YES, but it’s up to you if you want to remember all the happy moments of your childhood.

9/10-Editor Choice

Retro City Rampage is available for PC, Xbox 360, Steam, Wii Ware, PS3 and PSVita with Cross-Buy.

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  • rann

    I think this game will be fun to experience :)

  • iPawn4

    Game looks good and looks like the retro GTA game. Would want to play this game since I love retro and GTA style games.

  • John Gregory

    I love the fact that Retro City Rampage makes reference too so many games. Out of all the references I heard about, I love they included the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles under water level. I found that so hard as a kid
    @NewfieJG

  • Abdo

    I absolutely love the classic console filters and the names they have. I was glad to see it got most of the obvious references/jokes out of the way in the opening scenes, and then just put a lot of them in the background for you to find every now and then, like that “Did Not Finish?” billboard with Duke (Nukem).

    Oh, and any game that references/quotes Trailer Park Boys is great in my book.

  • Ruben G

    I played the demo didn’t care for the references and cops were way to agro.