Developer: Ground Shatter
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Release Date: 12/03/19
Price: $19.99 / £15.99
Formats: PS4 (Reviewed)/ Switch / Xbox
Official page: http://rico-game.com/
Lots of bad guys to kill? Tick. Lots of kicking doors in? Tick. Lots of comic book style action? Tick. Lots of slow motion kills? Tick.
Yes, yes, yes and yes! What more could you ask for? Seriously. Kick, kill, repeat. Simple but so, so enjoyable.
Rico is a an arcade cop buddy first-person shooter and it is pure and simple over the top mindless fun. It’s not trying to be realistic and that is what gives it an edge. It is nice to be able to play a game that is not trying to be anything else and is keeping it simple. Ground Shatter and Rising Star have realised that people enjoy shooting bad guys in over the top ways so why complicate it?
A brief intro then it’s all action!
Once you start the game, Karen Redfern of British counter-terrorism introduces you to RICO and you have been hand-picked to be in an elite task force assigned to bust gangs for illicit and illegal activities. You are told that you must solve cases within 24 in-game hours using any means necessary. In order to solve the case, you must complete numerous missions which all consist of clearing a building, room by room that is full of baddies. Your missions are all on a zig-zagged type board and you will travel through the board to the final boss. You don’t have to do every mission though, you can pick different routes in order to get to the boss and do a minimum of roughly ten missions but if you do want to clear more baddies and if you have the time, there is approximately thirty-six individual levels on all routes leading to the boss. Once the boss is finally beat, that case is solved and the gangs operation is shut down. Simple and fun!
Satisfying and easy to learn
When traversing the buildings, make sure to use the map to clear all rooms because once you’ve found all evidence or destroyed their last asset it is time to get out. Clearing all rooms as well as other tasks like finding evidence or diffusing bombs results in earning merits which can be spent in between levels on new weapons, upgrades like an extended clip or health kits and armour. Spend them wisely though because if you die, you have to start again without your upgrades. You can exit a level but that mission will fail so you will need to find an alternative route to the boss.
A satisfying trait of the game is as you kick in a door, the action goes into slow-motion briefly for a couple of seconds and it is genuinely brilliant as you complete headshot after headshot before time shifts back to normal. If you manage to clear a room in that couple of seconds slow-motion, it is such a sense of achievement.
Another good thing about the game is that every case, operation and level is randomly generated ensuring a new experience every time you play. There is also new weapons, traits, enemies and mission types to encounter and unlock so despite the core of the game being the same, these little changes keeps it fresh.
As I’ve already mentioned, when clearing rooms you can kick down the door and it is briefly slow-motion to allow some kills but if you want to risk it all purely for style then you can enter in true over the top fashion by sliding through the door and taking out the enemies as you slide. It looks great but without knowing where the enemies are as you enter, it is somewhat of a gamble.
One thing in the game that can catch you by surprise is the enemies with melee weapons. They will run at you and are surprisingly quick so you must react fast to take them out. The shooters stay back to shoot but you’ve definitely got to be wary of the crazy ones running at you with an axe.
As you play through the game, there is so many resemblances to cinema and other classic games. It reminds me of 80’s over the top cop films like Lethal Weapon or Die Hard and believe me, that is a good thing. Also, the slow-motion meticulous shootouts and the cinematic style is similar to John Woo’s style and again, this is a good thing. Game wise, it reminds me of Max Payne, a little bit of Doom as in the room trawling and a little bit Grand Theft Auto. It is a fantastic blend to have.
Plenty to play and plenty for your money
As there is a never ending supply of levels and bad guys, the replay value is through the roof as well as value for money. There is also daily plays which you can click on daily to play, so again, the replayability is basically endless! Also if you don’t want to do a case, there is a quick option where you can either train, do a quick random mission where you simply have to clear a building or a lockdown mission where you simply have to kill wave after wave of enemies in something like an underground car park.
It can all be quick gaming so if you only have fifteen-twenty minutes, you can still play and kill plenty of bad guys in any of the options. Even when doing a case, a mission can only take ten minutes maximum so you can continue with that also.
Another option is of course co-op, so grab a buddy and play online or local in a split screen. Again, the slow-motion is available as long as you both simultaneously kick the doors down and you can also mark targets and locations for coordinated breaches. Time for bad-cop, bad-cop time!
Check out the trailer below for Rico:
The Review Key was provided by Rising Star Games for the purposes of this review.