It’s the development team at Rikodu who have created Robo Revenge Squad and by their own description, this should be seen as a co-op action game. That seems like a pretty fair description. The question is, is it any good, or should this one be left on the verge? Well, come with me to an alien robot apocalypse…
The Robo Revenge Squad story is pretty simple. There has apparently been some kind of alien invasion, but using robots. And for some reason, we have to get revenge. Oh, and we are robots too! As narratives go it is somewhat thin and while this isn’t necessarily a drawback for all games, I do feel its absence a tad.
With no story to speak of, how does it look in terms of the presentation, the graphics and such? Well, the news here is certainly better.
Robo Revenge Squad works as a series of distinct levels, each with its own style, be that a world set in an almost wild west looking biome, through to an alien bank that we have to rob, and everything in between. The graphics are suitably cute and shiny, with small, well designed robots coming at us in waves. Our characters are pretty cool as well. The sound is also bang on, with the various robots and weapons that are being utilised coming with their own individual sounds; the destruction of enemy robots is lovely sounding. I do love the smell of spilled oil in the morning.
In terms of gameplay and Robo Revenge Squad is a cooperative action game, and that is the best part of it. The ability to play with not only people in your household in a couch co-op session, but also to host or join games with random players on the internet is pretty good. And, in testing, both modes work very well. However, it must be said that if you come looking to dish out some robo revenge online, either by searching or hosting, the news is less good. It appears the robot uprising has removed most folk from the online world, so while the game is still playable in single player mode, trying to find games online is, frankly, a waste of time.
Still, assuming you have friends to join in, or just want to play on your own, what can you expect? Well, each mission has a certain goal, be that to set C4 explosives throughout a building, or overloading a boiler by throwing coal into it. Obviously, these goals are at the far end of each level, and between you and them is a stage full of killer robots. Although I’m not sure they can be called killer robots if they are trying to end another robot, that isn’t alive? Never mind.
In order to not be deactivated, you need to ensure the other robots become disassembled. In order to do this, you have a variety of weapons at your disposal. There is a melee weapon that is mapped to the right trigger, and a ranged weapon that is mapped to the left trigger. Both these weapons are aimed with the right stick, while the left stick controls movement, in a twin-stick style. You will quickly learn that backing off while using a chainsaw on any enemy that happens to be closest is a good way to stay alive, and then using the ranged weapon to attack foes that are further away will be the best course of action. Robo Revenge Squad does something interesting in the way that the weapons work too, in that the ranged weapon requires energy to be used, and the only way to get energy is to kill foes with your melee weapon. A mix of tactics will do you proud.
As you go through the levels you can equip other weapons, each of which has a different effect. You’ll certainly want to swap out a tennis ball launcher with what looks like an M60 machine gun! Each weapon can also be upgraded using points from the levels, and so evolving your loadout is a lot of fun. The same goes for the body parts of your robot and it’s here where each section can be replaced, upgraded and given a new skin. For instance, my robot has a head that doubles as an artillery piece, a body made out of a “nukeproof fridge” dressed in a tuxedo skin, and a lawnmower as a chassis. There is a lot of customisation to work through.
The problem I have with Robo Revenge Squad is the way the combat works. The actual fighting is pretty good, but the main issue is that there is no feel to the fighting. It is almost impossible to “feel” when you are being damaged, and as a result, if you aren’t watching your health bar (which you won’t be, as enemies seem to spawn in almost infinitely) it is all too easy to die. You only get three attempts at each level too. If you are playing co-op, your partners can revive you, but the difficulty is that it is hard to find enough space to do so without getting attacked.
All in all, Robo Revenge Squad is an interesting game with some clever ideas. Playing with friends is good fun, but going solo is very hard. Just be aware that the online scene is seemingly dead too.
Robo Revenge Squad is on the Xbox Store