Since first appearing on the big screen in 1987, RoboCop has become a popular action film character, spawning several sequels, graphic novels and video games.
RoboCop: Rogue City is developed by Teyon, a Polish gaming studio, and published by French gaming company Nacon.
The game was released on PlayStation 5, Xbox
Series S/X and PC on November 2, and I embarked on my first play session with lots of excitement and nostalgic admiration.
The character’s story is one of tragedy and triumph. The man in the cybernetic suit is Alex Murphy, a police officer in Detroit who is murdered by a gang.
Instead of being buried, Murphy is taken by Omni Consumer Products, a megacorporation that was developing a crime-fighting robot but needed a human brain to make it functional.
The assumption was that the scientists could harness Murphy's law-enforcement knowledge and suppress the emotional part of the brain. That, however, was not the outcome.
Murphy, now RoboCop, starts to remember what happened to him, and understands that he is now a new being, unable to go back to his family, who have already mourned his death.
Reconciling with his new self, RoboCop seeks revenge on those who took his life. He hunts down the gang, as well as the scientists who turned him into a breathing weapon.
Gameplay and graphics
The story in the game expects you to know Murphy's history and his transformation into RoboCop. The story picks up somewhere between the first and second films.
Some of RoboCop’s backstory is revealed as the game progresses, and secrets are revealed that shape the character and his decisions.
The game plays in first-person view, with players able to see what RoboCop himself sees through his visor, using modified technology to spot enemies.
The character is equipped with his famous powerful pistol which can dispatch numerous assailants using its high-rate-firing ability.
Robocop moves at his usual slow pace, a by-product of the heavy suit that actor Peter Weller wore in the first film. In the game, however, he can move more quickly if needed, dipping and ducking away from enemies.
The graphics in Rogue City are more than acceptable and the game does enough to establish a very accurate representation of the atmosphere in the films.
Whether moving through the police station or a dingy, rundown building, there’s enough detail to satisfy the most ardent fans of the film series.
The game does suffer in cut scenes though, as the speech feels unnatural and the characters move in bizarre ways.
RoboCop is a favourite character for many, including myself.
For kids of the late 1980s and 1990s – whether through watching the films, which were too mature for anyone below the age of 18, or by playing one of the many games out at the time – RoboCop was very much part of the zeitgeist.
Today, the character is not as relevant as it once was. He still appears in games from time to time and efforts to revive the intellectual property resulted in a less than mediocre remake in 2014.
That being said, people of a certain generation will still look back fondly at RoboCop, and playing a new game that features the armoured robot police officer delivers a fun experience despite the shortcomings.