Scott Watson reviews Rocketbirds 2: Evolution…
Putzki is dead. Or is he? Hardboiled thought he had nailed the evil megalomaniacal despot at the end of the first Rocketbirds. It seems though that psychotic killer owls from outer space had other plans and look to have brought Putzki back from the dead to once again take over the world. I’ve read that intro several times now and still can’t believe what I’m reading!
That being said, this short summary is another excuse to slip into the shoes of the tough-as-nails, plucky chicken super-agent and the original “Cock of War.”
If you played the original, all of the above will make complete sense to you. If you’re like me and a newcomer, you’ll find a solid and entertaining platform shooter that draws influence from as far back as the days of Green Beret and their side scrolling ilk… but with chickens, penguins, pigeons and owls armed to the teeth with all kinds of heavy weaponry. The basis of each mission sees you get from one end of a level to the other, taking out your enemies through direct violence and some mild puzzle elements until your ultimate showdown with Putzki and the Space Owls.
The game is a twin-stick affair, with movement controlled on one and your aim on the other. Weaponry feels nice and meaty when you fire it off, and there’s notable differences in the weapons of choice you pick up and arm yourself with over the duration of the game. There’s a good mix of enemies to mix up your play strategy throughout too; be it close quarters melee types, standard soldiers, heavies or officers that tend to be the go to for the puzzle elements of the game. For the most part, the enemies tend to be more of an obstacle than any real challenge to take down, unless you find yourself swamped by a number of them at one time but that’s OK, because the main focus of the game is all about having fun above all else.
The characters, animation and backdrops are all beautifully designed and brought together with some lovely parallax-like scrolling for a pseudo 3D effect (or for a full experience they’ve even included stereoscopic 3D options too). There’s a lot of character in these characters too. Hardboiled and Putzki are naturally given their place to shine as the leads, but you can see the love and attention paid in creating all these birds with attitude.
Away from the single player campaign, and Hardboiled’s attempt to thwart Putzki’s plans for world domination, developer Ratloop is making sure you keep busy with two additional modes; Rescue and PvP. Rescue Mode sends you to Albatropolis, a hub designed to allow you to make purchases of new weapons and ammo, attempt said rescue missions and enter the dojo where you can take on friends in a PvP single screen battle. The rescues follow a similar theme to the single player, but can have up to four player co-op and also sees enemies dropping cash as well as ammo too that can be spent in the shops back at the hub. There’s a nice touch here for those of you who opt to go in solo and that’s the ability to hire ducks… ducks of war… that will help you out in your rescue attempts and provide additional firepower (and you will need it). These modes are pretty much more of the same but with added crazy when there’s bullets flying all over the place.
In short, Rocketbirds 2 is a fun and entertaining blast with an enjoyably crazy multi-player element thrown in for good measure.
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