Steel rats review10/11/2018
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in a motorcycle gang? Shows such as Sons of Anarchy give us a closer like of what is beneath the rough exterior. The gang is like family. Now, what if we were to take that same aspect and mix it in with the Trials games? Throw a story mode onto the creation and what you have created is Tate Multimedia’s “Steel Rats”
This motorcycle gameplay is not new for Tate Multimedia. They are also the developers behind the Urban Trial Playground games. What they do offer though is a game that is a bit more forgiving when it comes to those bike physics. Conquering some of the parkour parts of the game can still be pretty difficult while you are trying to master the controls. Once you have a good handle on how to move around comfortably, you will have conquered one of the hardest aspects of the game. Getting there though, especially for those unfamiliar with the trials games, will be frustrating.
The story itself pits you in a futuristic version of America if we were looking at the future from the 1950’s. The game is set in Coastal City, organized in 5 districts. Some form of disaster has destroyed the town and this, ultimately, has led to the streets of Coastal City to be overrun with hostile and out of control robots. It’s as if the Matrix had a child with Sons of Anarchy! Your gang itself, The Steel Rats, are here to try and put a stop to the madness!
You are able to move in three dimensions in a 2.5 dimension action-racing arcade game, think of it like driving in lanes. These lanes can take you all over the place depending on the level. There are some interesting levels in which you will have to move about the level and power of generators to unlock and open doors to let you progress. Most levels are generally pretty short and can be beaten in under 5 minutes once you know what you are supposed to do. The game does a pretty good job of allowing you to explore to find hidden items which will reward you in the big picture. In fact, each level has hidden items! Killing every enemy will also reward you with Scrap. Think of scrap as the games money system as you do use it to upgrade your abilities and bike.
The combat system is fun, however, you are very limited at the beginning of the game. You will want to get those upgrades as soon as possible so that you have an arsenal of attacks to use on the enemy bots. There are also guns that can be picked up in the game to help you fight the baddies. Generally speaking, you will want to use the weapons provided as getting too close to the enemies will result in damage to you. You want to try and keep your health stacked up for the most frustrating parkour parts of the game. Your attacks consist of a front tire that turns into a saw blade that can cut down enemies like a hot knife on butter as well as destroying objects in the environment. A drone that follows you around and can shoot enemies with electricity. As you unlock abilities, you will acquire different attacks depending on your actions. These could include shockwaves, a tornado of electricity amongst others. Your Ultimate Attack is great, but it uses a lot of the ability bar, so I found it’s best to reserve that for tight situations.
The campaign itself is not very long. There are 5 districts that you work your way through with a total of 25 levels. Thankfully each level gives you a small list of extra objectives that you can do make extra money. These could be as simple as killing X amount of bots to completing the level in a certain amount of time.
If you are a fan of the Trials games, then I would highly recommend Steel Rats. If you have played the Trials games but you are not very good at them, then perhaps go in a bit more cautiously. There are still parts in the game that are very difficult with the parkour, but thankfully even if you do die, the levels are short enough to hop back in and try until you nail it.