Steel Rats review

ID@Xbox often provides a chance for developers to try something new, be that something original or a new take on an already tried concept. I love the diversity, and variety that the ID program has brought to the Xbox in terms of games, and there are literally hundreds of developers out there bearing the fruits of the program.

Tate Multimedia S.A. have jumped on board of the ID@Xbox ship to deliver Steel Rats – an interesting game with new ideas in what is a 2.5D dynamic, vehicular combat action platformer.

Steel Rats brings a whole host of ideas and throws them all into one. So get ready to put the leathers on, grab a weapon and run riot, as you destroy, race, shoot, stunt and explore.

As a member of a biker gang, you get the chance to cause havoc. Rev your ride and hold on, as you speed through using your motorcycle as a tool of destruction, and if that wasn’t enough, make sure you’ve come prepared as you look to use a wide range of weapons that can be strapped to your bike, just incase your steel rims which often act like chainsaws wasn’t enough.

In Steel Rats, it’s up to you as you take control of the gang and take back the streets from the Junkbots. So make sure you get up to speed quickly and iron out the kinks, as you look to master the realistic physics behind your sweet ride, and take down the enemy with a variety of special abilities and a whole host of arsenal at your disposal, including wheel-mounted saw blades, harpoon guns, handlebar mounted mini guns and even flame throwing exhausts.

The game features a chance to get creative with the destruction and the havoc that you can produce – ride up walls, back-flip off the side of building and smash the Junkbots to smithereens in mid-air whilst trying to safely navigate your motorbike through some sticky situations.

We have all seen biker gangs on the box and have toyed with the idea (as kids) of how cool it would be to don the leathers, and the bandanas to ride the streets with our mates. Well now’s your chance as you become the heart and soul of the Steel Rats.

The Steel Rats are 4 bikers: James, Lisa, Randall and Toshi. The gang roam the streets in Coastal City on their pimped out chrome rolling machines. Your job is to take control of the group and get a grip of those mean streets which have been overrun. Each character has a unique ability and a weapon of their choosing, equipped to their rotating machine of steel, each with their own feel, so be prepared to favour one over the other.

The game has a wonderful style of play with the option to switch things up and take control of the different characters. There are some fantastic opportunities to earn upgrades for your motorbike, as you look to build the ultimate chopper. Upgrades aren’t the only thing on offer in terms of customisation, you can also unlock some trendy unique skins for not just your bike, but your character which rides that steel horse of yours.

So what of the game in terms of missions you might be thinking, and just what are these so called Junkbots? Well it’s all a mystery really, and if I were to reveal the true nature of it all, that would just be giving the story away wouldn’t it?

Yes, Steel Rats has a story, which you uncover as you progress through the missions, but what of the Junkbots which roam Coastal City, well the only way to discover their origins and just why the horde are infesting the local areas, is to fight the good fight!

Steel Rats is a unique game, with a fantastic concept. The whole throw yourself into the deep end without much of a back story and how the enemy have swarmed the city, is an intriguing starting point. It’s only going to draw you in further, as you look for answers.

Steel Rats setting is perfect for a mystery adventure on two wheels. Set in an alternative retro-futuristic 1940’s America, featuring a level design wonderfully brought to life by a lovely mix of picturesque backdrops, mystery and pure adrenaline action, as you traverse through the streets of Coastal City.

Coastal City is filled with secrets, split into 5 districts, there’s plenty to explore as your adventure takes you through some distinctive locations: – the shiny, silver, technically advanced Halcyon Isle. The Golden-green Lakeport, where the rich live. The run down Warrensgate, an industrial town within the city. Olbarrow, set within the outskirts, and then Felyard, an impressive scrapyard.

Steel Rats is a ground-breaking evolution of 2.5D action, with arcade style wreck and ride havoc mechanics, brave the undergrounds, the roof tops, the mines, scale the industrial marvel just to defeat the swarms, and investigate the very root of the invasion.  The way you can switch between your characters effortlessly is attractive and the backdrop of the game is just breath-taking.

“An arcade style feel adventure, with a story that offers a sense of exploration and mystery.”

The game has a brilliantly crafted scoring system, which is laid out for all to see as they embark on there current mission, scoring how many Junkbots you destroy, wheelies, and offers some special objectives which earn you big. The more score you earn, the bigger the rewards, which come hand in hand with the game’s upgrade system, which will only keep the player coming back for more. My only real criticism of the scoring is the lack of leaderboards. I feel this would have added a little something, that challenges the player, thus adding to its replay value.

There a few flaws (mainly minor) which can lead to a bit of frustration such as getting stuck in the scenery- which requires a restart of the level, the other being speed- for me the game lacks the speed you associate motorcycles with, the game needs a bit more oomph.

Overall, the game plays well and the whole package it represents is enjoyable, an arcade style feel adventure, with a story that offers a sense of exploration and mystery. The combat system is awesome and allows for excitement, as you get creative with the weapons on hand. I just love the direction of this 2.5D dynamic motorbike adventure, which fuses so many different elements, and pulls it off impressively.

CX Score
  • 65%
    Overall - 65%
65%

Summary

Pros

  • So many Elements
  • The surrounding Mystery
  • Creative takedowns

Cons

  • Repetitive
  • No Leaderboards
  • Lack of speed

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