Home Game Reviews RoboCop: Rogue City – Upholding Justice in a Cybernetic Detroit

RoboCop: Rogue City – Upholding Justice in a Cybernetic Detroit

Robocop Rogue City Alex Murphy and Nancy Allen
Robocop Rogue City Alex Murphy and Nancy Allen together again

Title: RoboCop: Rogue City
Developer: Teyon
Publisher: Nacon
Released: November 2, 2023
Platforms Available: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC Game
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 5
Article Reading Time: 10 minutes

Return of the Cybernetic Lawman

It’s been over twenty years since the last major video game set in the RoboCop universe. The cult film franchise from the late 1980s and early 1990s is still very popular with fans today. The creators at Teyon Studios decided it was time to bring armored police officer Alex Murphy, who appeared in the first film in 1987, back to life.

Expectations vs. Reality in Delta City

I admit that I didn’t expect complete miracles from RoboCop: Rogue City, even though I love the movie brand. I would get a B-movie action shooter to finish in an afternoon. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The developers at Teyon Studio have a pretty hilarious title under their belt, 2019’s Terminator: Resistance, which, while not a massive success among reviewers, was appreciated by gamers. However, the scratch on their reputation is Rambo: The Video Game, which raised more than a few eyebrows in 2014. However, with peace of mind, RoboCop: Rogue City is definitely not a similar tragedy.
On the contrary, if you focus only on the main storyline, expect roughly thirteen hours of game time, and that’s if you play on a higher difficulty. With the side content, you can quickly reach the twenty-hour mark.

Exploring the Urban Jungle: Side Quests and City Life

RoboCop: Rogue City offers many side quests, the quality of which is of a reasonably high standard. You’ll primarily help your colleagues, but you’ll also encounter, for example, rescuing a stray cat, handing out parking tickets, stepping on spray paint, or becoming a mentor to a police rookie who believes in naive ideals. I was amazed at the amount of content the game offers. I often encounter ballast that tries to artificially extend game time, but in the case of the new RoboCop, I was downright looking for the side content. Yes, I enjoyed it that much. RoboCop: Rogue City is plain and straightforward, far bigger and more elaborate than it may seem at first glance.

Arsenal of Justice: Combat and Weaponry

The original films are also very well known for their sometimes grotesque brutality. So RoboCop: Rogue City needs to catch up on that. If you’re a staunch opponent of violence, you’ll be shocked. Alex Murphy uses a diverse arsenal to wreak utter havoc. In addition to the iconic Auto-9 (Berreta 93R) handgun, you’ll also take on enemies with shotguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, grenade launchers, and sniper rifles. There are around twenty types of weapons in the game. The damage you do with them is considerable. Limbs fly through the air like they’re gonna fly. A hand here, a foot there. And you can increase the brutality even further with RPG elements. But more on that later.

The shooting itself is different from what shooters are used to. It goes hand-in-hand with the clumsy movement of RoboCop, so expect to avoid any frantic action. The accuracy of some of the weapons may need improvement at first. Still, it will noticeably improve as you upgrade your attributes.

A Symphony of Destruction: Environmental Interactions

Aside from the brutal shooting, I welcome the high level of environmental destructibility. You can use all sorts of items to eliminate bad guys. Throwing monitors, furniture, and even motorbikes is no problem. Often, this results in almost comical scenes that have fallen out of B-movie action flicks. Why is that? The filmmakers hit the nail on the head here.

Facing Off Against Detroit’s Finest Criminal Minds

The enemy variation is solid. Apart from the regular gang members, you’ll also have to take out bikers who circle around you on their machines, snipers, grenade launchers, or broken-down robots from the OCP corporation. The artificial intelligence of the enemies could be better. No army tactics are involved, but if you encounter multiple snipers, they’ll give you quite a run for your money, especially on the higher difficulty level, which I recommend choosing. There is no cover system in the game. You can only hide behind walls if necessary. I also appreciated the form of healing, during which you consume energy cells. After increasing one of the attributes, you can also replenish your health with the help of power cabinets.

Nostalgia Meets Novelty: Voice Acting and Visuals

If you remember and like Alex Murphy’s dry catchphrases, you’ll be in seventh heaven when playing RoboCop: Rogue City. The creators spouted one catchphrase after another, and I genuinely laughed many times. Add to that the fact that RoboCop is voiced by Peter Weller, the film’s cyborg actor, and you have a total fan service that is a joy to listen to. Thanks to the visor, the actor even agreed to use his face, which you won’t see too often. Still, when you do, you’re teleported to the planet Nostalgia.

Moral Dilemmas and RPG Dynamics

I’ve long wondered what genre to put RoboCop: Rogue City in. Sure, it’s a first-person shooter, but if I pigeonholed the game that way, I’d be doing it a disservice. In fact, RoboCop: Rogue City contains a lot of RPG elements, which surprised me very pleasantly. As you complete missions, you earn classic experience and skill points, which you can invest in improving Murphy’s attributes. There are eight in total: combat, armor, vitality, engineering, concentration, scanning, deduction, and psychology. Each attribute has ten levels, with clues with different abilities. Examples include the second level in the combat section, which, when activated, will allow you to deliver an electric shock that stuns enemies in the immediate vicinity. The tenth level of vitality, among other things, causes you to automatically replenish your health up to 75% of your capacity. The amount of abilities is sufficient for the needs of the game. You can dodge, increase your stamina briefly, slow down time, etc.

Aside from attributes, you also upgrade the iconic Auto-9 rifle, which is always at your disposal. This is done with chip motherboards that you find during gameplay. Exploration of the environment is duly rewarded thanks to this. Chips can be inserted into the baseplates, usually stored in hidden crates. You insert the chips thus obtained into the motherboard schematic and try to make their terminals connect correctly. If you choose the wrong piece, you may get negative stats in addition to the bonuses. You don’t want that, of course. The scheme offers increased stack capacity, improved accuracy, reload speed, increased damage, and better armor penetration. Each baseplate is different, allowing you to create your own character build. Plain simple but a hell of a lot of fun.

The icing on the cake is the dialogue and the consequences of your decisions. Don’t expect the depth of last year’s Baldur’s Gate 3, but it’s still a welcome change to the gameplay experience. Your choices have an impact, both on the characters in question and on the game world as a whole. You can, for example, side with the investigative reporter or send her away and listen to the corporate and insufferable Max Becker. According to available information, RoboCop: Rogue City will offer multiple possible endings. It is downright tempting to play it again. RoboCop: Rogue City, thanks to all of the above, I would place it in the genre of story-driven action RPGs, which the developers have really put a lot of effort into.

Final Analysis: A New Dawn for an Old Hero

At first glance, it’s clear that Teyon is a studio directly crammed with fans of old action movies. This is mirrored at practically every turn in RoboCop: Rogue City. The developers worked closely with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer (MGM), the owner of the RoboCop copyright, to create the game, and the Peter above Weller, the original RoboCop actor, contributed significantly. There are plenty of little details to keep even the most die-hard fans happy during gameplay. You’ll meet many old friends, such as partner Anne Lewis, Sergeant Warren Reed, and the giant robot ED-209. In addition, many of the characters faithfully reflect the appearance of the original cast. This makes you feel like you’re in the original film. You’ll also get to see familiar locations that are rendered really faithfully. For example, you’ll spend time in the police station, the OCP offices, and mainly on the streets of crime-ridden Detroit. In this respect, I have to compliment the creators. You don’t see that kind of passion very often.

The movement of the leading actor remains faithful to the model. RoboCop is just as slow and clumsy as in the movies, which you may find a bit annoying initially. I got used to the snail’s pace almost immediately. Still, if you’re looking for “run and gun” action with slips and jumps, you won’t find it in RoboCop: Rogue City. There are also some awkward situations where you have to walk around a piece of elevated space to the stairs. Climbing up the obstacle is not possible.

The quieter and slower pace is also set by the style of investigation you’ll be doing at every turn. You use the scanner to uncover various clues and uncover intricate cases. It’s nothing we haven’t seen elsewhere, but the detective element here just feels natural. And how could it not, since you are a member of the police force. A map, which you can view anytime, helps you navigate the space. I used it quite a lot in the network of intricate alleys.

As far as the technical state of RoboCop: Rogue City is concerned, it’s all over the place. It’s not a disaster of giant proportions, but the game is a step or two away from ideal. RoboCop: Rogue City runs on the Unreal Engine 5, which has yet to be widespread. The visuals pleasantly surprised me, mainly because some scenes looked almost realistic. Unfortunately, the occasional glimpse of an unpleasant building or model in the distance felt like a fist in the eye. Still, it’s important to remember that studio Teyon needed to work with the kind of budget that the big players in the gaming industry operate with. The sound design and character dubbing are solid as well. As you play, you’ll hear well-known tunes from the original films, which illustrate the nostalgic atmosphere nicely. I played RoboCop: Rogue City on PlayStation 5 in performance mode at 60fps. The game held primarily steady except for the most massive shootouts.

I had a great time the entire time I spent with the new RoboCop in dystopian Detroit. I was surprised at how polished a game it is. At first glance, it’s apparent that it was created by fans of the original film, trying to please its fans. The writers are certainly not ashamed of the main storyline. Towards the end, the plot is relatively predictable but still good quality and does not disgrace the film’s premise. Add to that the multiple different endings, and I can’t complain. For me, RoboCop: Rogue City is one of the biggest game surprises from last year.

Where to Buy RoboCop: Rogue City

  1. Steam (PC): Available for $49.99 (currently on sale for $29.99). You can purchase the game directly from Steam
  2. Epic Games Store (PC): Priced at $49.99 (currently on sale for $29.99). Find more details and purchase the game here on Epic Games Store
  3. PlayStation Store (PS5): The base game is available for $59.99. The Alex Murphy Edition, which includes additional content, is priced at $69.99. Check it out on the PlayStation Store
  4. Xbox Store (Xbox Series X/S): The base game is available for $59.99. The Alex Murphy Edition, with extra content, is priced at $69.99. You can find it on the Xbox Store
Robocop: Rogue City verdict
85 %
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robocop-rogue-city-upholding-justice-in-a-cybernetic-detroitRoboCop: Rogue City offers a surprisingly polished adventure in a dystopian Detroit that will grab the hearts of all fans of the original film. In the shoes of Alex Murphy, you'll take on crime and all its trappings. And you'll have a great time doing it. The creators from Teyon Studio have managed to bring a very faithful adaptation of the cult robotic policeman to the screen and have given it their all. This makes it a big surprise that not everyone expected, but in the end, more than surprised. And I can only recommend it!


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