Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (R:HC) is brought to you by Ratloop Asia and Reverb Publishing, and it’s now available on Steam (Already out for the PSN). If you can imagine a killer chicken running around in a leather jacket with a Terminator-like personality who utilizes a plethora of guns and a jetpack, then you’ll have an understanding of what Rocketbirds is all about. I was given the opportunity to play this 2D side-scrolling game’s new PC release over the last couple of days, and let me tell you, for $11.99 it is well worth the price of admission. Please continue on after the break to read why you should consider adding this game to your current Steam collection.
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PC
EB 8 out of 10 Buddhas
- You’re a chicken with a freaking jetpack and guns!
- Challenging puzzles that won’t frustrate you
- Variety in level design
The Not so Awesome
- Too much ammo needed to take down even the smallest of enemies
- Not enough air-to-air combat
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken takes place in the city of Albatropolis, which is under control of the evil penguin army and their leader, Putzki. You play as Hardboiled Chicken, a genetically enhanced chicken that’s a result of an experiment by none other than Putzki himself. As a genetic wonder, you revolt against Putzki along with some other birds to remove his army, and to put a stop to the experiments on your fellow avian friends.
Upon starting up Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, I was greeted with a catchy modern rock track by New World Revolution, which is a plus in my book. For one of the first times that I can remember I didn’t have to turn the sound volume down, and play my own music while playing a downloadable title! That’s usually not the case when I play games like Rocketbirds, so I found the game’s choice of music to be one of my favorite features of this newly released Steam title.
Along with a nice soundtrack, the visual aesthetics are pretty pleasing as well in R:HC. The scenery has a good amount of depth for a side-scroller, as well as a wide variety of environments. Throughout the game’s campaign you’ll do battle in the jungle, in bases, in blimps, and even on the exterior of said bases. The animated visuals really shine in each of these unique looking locations, and never once did I experience any sort of frame rate issues, or other graphical mishaps throughout the game’s campaign, which can be played solo, or with a friend (local and online). Mix the sound and the visuals with simple controls, Rocketbirds is sure to be a hit. With play modes such as Single player, CO-OP Local and CO-OP Network player can bring along a bawking buddy to battle the entire Penguin Army!
Nice variety of great looking levels are found in R:HC
My first steps as Hardboiled Chicken were pretty exciting. The smooth controls utilize the standard WASD keys for movement, with E representing the action button, and C or the Down Arrow are used for crouching. As with most shooters a left mouse-click is your fire button, and the scroll wheel serves as your weapon cycling input. The controls are perfect with absolutely nothing difficult to master. I can tell you that if you have ever played a PC shooter, you will pick up R:HC’s controls immediately.
Most of the on foot gameplay requires you to roll “through” your enemies to get them on the same side as you to help stop the penguin army from shooting you down. Like I mentioned above, this game’s controls are top-notch, so executing the move sets to ensure chicken liberation is a breeze. Poor controls are one of the first things that a gamer can run into, so I’m happy to report that R:HC nailed this piece of the gaming puzzle!
In addition to ground based combat R:HC also features some air combat. I actually found this portion of the game to be one of my favorites! I had to utilize the skills and maneuvers that I learned as a young gamer in jet simulators, but they translated perfectly during the flight sections of R:HC. I found the AI of the air-based enemies to be outstanding. My initial reaction when I had my first run in with the Jet Penguins was “Meh, this is easy!” But as the level progressed I found myself having to juke rocketeers like Barry Sanders used to work opposing defensive players just to stay alive. I loved the challenge to say the least.
Air combat = Awesome
Rocketbirds also employs some of the time-honored mechanics found in other 2D side-scrollers from gaming’s past such as; jumping puzzles, collecting keycards, and even moving blocks to make steps to progress. This really helps keep you interested in the game when you’re not blasting bird-guts all over the wall. Another unique type of puzzle is the mind control grenade type. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you have to angle a grenade through a small hole in the wall to take control of a penguin to let you in or out of certain areas. It’s safe to say that R:HC isn’t just a one trick chicken as is evident in its combination of game genres.
Another aspect of Rocketbirds that I really came to appreciate were the cinematic cut scenes. Between every level you get to learn a bit more about how Rocketbird came to exist. Of course, the songs laid out by New World Revolution fit the scenes amazingly. All of these components really tie Rocketbirds together, making it a great game.
There were only a couple things that I disliked, or felt needed work. No one likes it when it takes a whole clip to kill a standard underling baddy, and that seemed to happen more often than not in R:HC. One thing that could use work is the amount of shots it takes to kill something. When it takes 13 pistol rounds to kill a lackey penguin, you have a problem. You don’t have to reload, which takes away some of this pain, but the mobs need to be lowered in endurance a bit in my opinion. Even on the easy setting it takes a load of lead to down anything, not just the beefier enemy types. The shotgun works a bit better, but anything else feels like shooting a bull with a bb gun.
The only other negative side to R:HC is that it doesn’t have nearly enough air combat sections. WE WANT MORE AIR COMBAT! I mean, it’s called Rocketbirds for Christ’s sake! This is really what separates it from the other 2-D games. I really enjoyed the air combat, and would’ve liked to have seen much more of it. Other than that R:HC is a solid, well-developed title.
Too much ammo is needed to make the bodies hit the floor
Rocketbirds: Hard Boiled Chicken has everything you could ever want in a side-scroller. From the jumping puzzles, air combat, ground combat, and the awesome checkpoint system, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to this new Steam title. Gamers can play for 15 minutes and actually accumulate 15 minutes of progress, not 7 because some dumb save point screws you over. Face it, no one likes when you have to break your mouse on your table because you got killed and lost 20 precious minutes of grueling gameplay. This is just another wonderful feature among many that make Rocketbirds well worth 12 bucks, as well as a worthy title to add to your precious gaming to-do list.
From one gamer to another I can wholeheartedly recommend picking it up. It’s got 15 chapters, each one unique and well designed. The campaign is only about 5 hours long, but hey its only $11.99! Ratloop Asia did a fantastic job with Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, so if you’re a member of steam, or connected to the PlayStation Network, then make sure you give it a try! For all of its upsides I give it an EB 8 out of 10 Buddhas.
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