RoboCop: Rogue City (PC) Review

By Michael McCann 06.03.2024

Review for RoboCop: Rogue City on PC

What was that thing that Robocop always used to say? "I am the law"? - was it, or was it, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick [redacted]... And I'm all out of bubblegum."? Maybe it was "Yipee-ki-aye mother[redacted]." That rings a bell. Whatever it was, the 1987 movie Rococop is one of the most memorable and quote-worthy action movies of the 1980's. Known for a sharp, satirical take on corporate America and what seemed then like an exaggerated take on the media complex, further presented on a backdrop of ultra violence, numerous punk haircuts and a dystopian sci-fi Detroit rock city. Its popularity spawned sequels (robot ninjas are people too), remakes, TV series, cereals, cartoons, comic books, toys and, of course, and inevitably, video games. Robo has made a few notable outings, such as on Commodore 64 and Mega Drive, but these video game adaptations, especially more recently, haven't always been simon-pure to our boy Murphy. Robocop: Rogue City aims (in a big, green targeting reticule) to change all that and set a new paradigm for double-A licenced tie-ins.

Superficially, Robocop is a robot and a man. He carries a gun. It would be a relatively short mental leap to slot these distinctive ingredients into a pre-existing, straight-on linear shooter template. Get in, get out; take it to the bank. All common logic would place almost any modern organisation settling on that design solution, which, though it might have its own merits, lacks the nuance to reflect some of the IP's original appeal. It'll come as a surprise then that Robocop: Rogue City doesn't do this and instead opts for a more considered design that buttresses the cadence of its action, largely successfully, and reflects that said original appeal in lots of smart and thoughtful ways. It could be represented in the lite RPG mechanics that the title incorporates, the return of original voice talent, an occasional minigame or easter-egg here and there, or, really, just the confidence to slow itself right the heck down. Sure, the shooting is in there, and in spades, it'd be insane not to be, but during the interstitial sections Robocop might also find himself assisting co-workers with menial tasks or essentially working as an on-beat cop issuing parking tickets to unsuspecting civilians; something which could be argued is more thrilling than shooting goons in the nuts repeatedly, back-to-back. It makes you feel like Spiderman and illustrates that developer Teyon has a deft grasp on, and respect for, the source material and the character of Robocop.

Screenshot for RoboCop: Rogue City on PC

Because of this, levels have more variety and don't necessarily always take on the shape that one would expect, alternating between slower, exploratory moments in small-ish semi-open-world areas and tighter, linear shooting gallery experiences. These parts blend into each other fairly organically throughout the run-time of Rogue City, assisting the pacing of the campaign and, although this statement is to be corroborated, it feels like levels never follow quite the same structure twice.

The shooting is visceral and weighty. Gore is dialled up to eleven; environments destruct, leaving most in total chaos after a shootout and Robocop moves slowly and can absorb a lot of damage, the way it should be. This aspect of Robocop could have easily fallen into a trap of feeling plodding or slow-moving but thankfully maps feel designed around this limitation and it's refreshing in an FPS not to immediately have to prioritise taking cover as most enemies can just be dealt with head-on. Again, it's something that Teyon really struck on the right balance of making Robocop feel OP in most situations but then does introduce some challenge later on with enemy variety, numbers and more than a few rock-vs-tight space type scenarios.

Screenshot for RoboCop: Rogue City on PC

The look and feel of everything are bang on the money, with particular stand-outs in Robocop: Rogue City being the excellent environmental and lighting design; evidence that there's some real talent that worked on this title. Assets and character models are reused quite liberally across Robocop: Rogue City, however rather than seeming like a scoping constraint it often makes a lot of sense within the context of the story and due to maps being so well designed and detailed it's a pleasure to return to one, for example, at a different time of day.

Screenshot for RoboCop: Rogue City on PC

There are downsides as well and that chiefly comes in the form of many bugs. The most egregious of which during this review playthrough was that at dialogue interactions the game would consistently load in an additional Robocop character model with its associated collision box in the active character or camera's place, which then would remain loaded indefinitely. Nine times out of ten this was equally mildly annoying and amusing, but that additional 10% of instances did also create a few softlocks to progress, which then had to be manually reloaded to fix. General texture loading issues, clipping issues and menus that don't operate as expected persist noticeably so elsewhere. It's a huge black mark on a title that generally has got a lot right in its design but even at its worst isn't enough to temper the overall enjoyment of role playing as Robocop. One would hope that these issues will eventually get patched out too, and ironically it does kind of fit with the IP's B-movie tone.

Screenshot for RoboCop: Rogue City on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Robocop: Rogue City is the very definition of a solid 7 out of 10 which is somewhat reminiscent of the PS2 era in the sense that there were more outliers released during a given year - the type that would be establishing a lot of the formulas that in a risk-averse mainstream market we find difficult to break away from now. It's a strange point to make as we reach a maturation point in what is likely to be a historic year for risk-averse mainstream video game releases but if it were not for a set of fairly prominent technical issues at the time of release and the writing which, while capturing the broad strokes of the Robocop appeal, isn't quite as sharp as it could've been, Robocop: Rogue City puts all of its efforts into all of the right places and does feel like an outlier because of this. It simply is some of the most fun that can be had in interactive media this year and because of the frame it finds itself in will be a dead cert for a future hit cult classic.






First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.