Rad Rodgers Review(PS4)
How RAD are you?
Rad Rodgers for Playstation 4 is an action platformer shooter developed by Slipgate Studios and published by THQ Nordic.
Have you been longing for a 90's inspired,comedic and foul mouthed 2D shooter to release so you can relive your past? Well with the release of Rad Rodgers, you will now get your chance to head back to the past. Gamer's of the 90's generation will feel right at home with the overall feel and atmosphere the game provides via its game play and narrative. If you're familiar with Conker and Commander Keen then you're definitely going to find the game's charm rather humorous.
One night while little Rodgers is having a late night gaming binge on his favorite console named ''Dusty'', his super EVIL and ANGRY mom barges into his room and does the unthinkable..she tells him he has to ''turn off the game and to go sleep''. This is the first antagonist in a video game in quite some time that has shown this level of villainy.
Rodgers, being the little kid he is,knows that he cannot compete with someone of his moms stature and decides to heed her warning and get a good nights rest so that he can wake up again early next morning and start another gaming session.
Upon dozing off to a dream world, something weird starts happening, Rodger's tv begins to go haywire and acts very strangely. This makes Rodgers curious and makes him want to investigate the phenomenon. Feeling hes still in the dream,Rodgers investigates more closely,but upon doing so,hes immediately sucked into the tv and into the gaming world itself!
Now as the hero Rad Rodgers, he must join up with his pal Dusty and set forth on an adventure to....shoot the hell out of anything that moves!
Game play of Rad Rodgers is a linear shooter in nature. Most of the game will involve you walking left to right shooting any baddies that dare come and get in your way,but there are others elements in the game that will keep the game from becoming too repetitive,such as the use of platforming and various types of collectibles and puzzles.
Each level you play involves you and Dusty having to go through each map in search of 4 stones that you need in order to open the big stone gate that awaits you at the end of each stage. To get each separate piece of stone you will have to kill the majority of the remaining enemies in each level and find hidden paths via well timed jumps or by unlocking sub items known that are blue keys.
Blue keys in this game are ''key''(hehe) to unlocking secret areas that hold one of your pieces of stone that you will need to acquire. Some of them also open up new routes you can take(up or down) and even allow you to acquire a heart that will refill all your health meter. Always be on the look out and search each and every corner of the levels. You never know what you might find.
The weapon of default that you start off with in this game is a regular pistol that shoots at a mediocre pace,its nothing special,but it has unlimited ammo to use so you will not have to worry about conserving ammunition during any skirmishes. Your secondary means of attacking will be done with your foul mouthed danny devito wannabe side nick named Dusty. With Dusty you're able to perform a powerful punch and slam that will either stun an enemy long enough for you to blow their head off or completely annihilate them in one shot and send them into a dozen pieces of meat. Careful when using this attack though because it runs on a pixel meter and once it runs out, you can no longer use the attack anymore. To refill the meter you must destroy enemies and take their pixels.
But of course what would a 90's esque game be without a variety of weapons. Besides your regular pistol you will also find upgrades scattered through out levels you play through, some are right out in the open and some remain hidden. However do not get trigger happy with these newly acquired weapons, they have a limit on the amount of ammo they will shoot. So if you're going to shoot,then make sure it's good shots or used versus harder enemies that take more damage to kill.
The different weapons you acquire range from a mini gun with rapid fire that will mow down everything in your path,a flame thrower that shoots flaming bullets,a laser gun that zaps everything in its way and a power up bat that one shot kills everything with one single hit,but its temporary so go crazy,but in a very wise way! Once again remember, all the weapons I named,minus the bat, have limited ammo. Be wary.
While the game is mostly a shooter at heart, as I stated earlier there are some elements of puzzle solving that you will need to do in order to access specific areas that may hold a heart piece to restore health or a piece of stone you need to complete the level. You activate these puzzles by entering a blue vortex puzzle which will then take you to a blue pixel screen where you take control of the character,Dusty.
In these puzzles with Dusty you must navigate him through a dark area surrounded by blue pixels,but touching them will damage you and cause you to lose health so you must be very careful. While trying not to touch the walls,you will also be met with hostility from flying orange pixel monsters who will gang up on you while you're busy dodging red and black pixel projectiles. All of these stages that I describe act as mazes that you must navigate through to reach and complete each specific objective.
Objectives in each of these puzzles vary. For instance, in some puzzles you will be required to collect pieces of a tree,a branch or a piece of land that acts as a platform for your hero,Rad Rodgers, that he will need in order to make it to harder to reach areas. While others will require you to use electricity to link together different nodes in order to unlock a secret area in the level you're currently on. Every failure though during these puzzles will drain Rodgers heart meter,this means roughly 4 mess ups will drain all your life meter for Rodgers and you'll be started back at the last save point.
If there's one thing I urge people to take caution on with this game is its length. The game in general is not a very long game no matter what difficult you choose to play on and a usual playthrough will last 2-3hrs tops. This is even if you continue to die over and over, because the save spots in this game are very generous, so you won't have to worry much about losing your progress or annoyingly have to back track.
Last few things I want to discuss and that I will have to warn any potential buyers about is the real lack of enemy variety and the lack of creativity with the overall level design. Most of the levels in this game look extremely similar to another and many of them seem like the the only changes made to it are things such as the color tint on the screen or random electric ponds. This is also the same problem I have with the enemy variety. There's really not too much meat here to dig your teeth into and that's a real shame. In this game you will really only encounter about 6 or 7 different enemies,flame looking squirrels that just run back and forth,purple glowing squirrels that shoot purple projectiles at you,flying monsters,and bigger monsters that will ram you and knock you around. Its rather disappointing. But still comes off as fun surprisingly.
Overall to me Rod Rodgers is a game that will appeal mainly to the people who grew up with 90s style shooters and people who aren't offended by all the crude humor the game offers to the player. While there are negatives such a short game length,lack of enemy variety,repetitive level design, the overall fun you can have with this game due to the genre of platformer/shooter, in the end that can ultimately outweigh the bad for some out there.
With funny cutscenes,mature dialogue(at times),smooth platforming,decent puzzle solving,good soundtrack and actual FUN game play with lots of gibs,that even with the negative stuff I mentioned above, I feel I can justify in saying you deserve to give this game a look,whether it be now or down the line.
Rad Rodgers is out now on Playstation 4.
*Review code provided by THQ Nordic