Steel Rats Review: PS4 Demo

Steel Rats Review: Ps4 Demo

0
out of 10

“Steel Rats is a 2.5D dynamic, vehicular combat action platformer game. Wreck and ride as a member of a biker gang. Use your motorcycle as a tool of destruction. Make use of a wide arsenal of weapons strapped to your motorbike and be the harbinger of mayhem!

Skillfully wreak havoc as you master the realistic physics-based controls of your sweet ride. Destroy Junkbots with a barrage of special abilities and weaponry like wheel-mounted saw blades, harpoon guns, handlebar mounted mini guns or flame spewing exhausts. The more creative the destruction the better, ride up walls, backflip of the side of buildings and crush some Junkbots mid-air whilst riding upside down.”

 

Platform games with Motorbikes are always fun for some reason, add a few explosions and some murderous robots and wow!

Bikes with explosive firepower, Homicidal Robots, and a nearly endless supply of stuff to destroy? Just in case a nice energetic and well-crafted platformer wasn’t enough on its own.

Steel Rats was a bit of a surprise when we first played it. Not only was it developed by a team who started out in Horse Riding games like The Saddle Club, but it was also released on PS4 as a demo with barely a word mentioned about it.

Elgreegsio and I took to the streets in Tate Multimedia’s chaos machine that is Steel Rats, and while the appeal of a platformer these days is overpowered by the desire for cutting edge visual animation, or large scale multiplayer battles, this one has a few nice touches that really make it worth checking out.

Sure, they didn’t take a leap straight from those earlier Equestrian titles into Steel Rats, they, in fact, are the team behind the Urban Trials series of high octane, dirty motocross fun. Adding a combat element is certainly something that had not been seen in their earlier titles, so it’s a notable achievement that it works so smoothly in Steel Rats.

On top of the already nicely polished and responsive design of the game, Steel Rats isn’t your standard platformer. Where in most cases you will be locked out from backtracking through a level, or re-exploring areas you have already traversed, Steel Rats allows players to move around each level freely, meaning you can go back on do more damage, pick up items you may have missed, or simply check out more of the steampunk, industrial design.

“Ever wanted to feel like a member of a biker gang? Now it’s your chance to become a part of the Steel Rats. Group of 4 bikers that roams the Coastal City on their chromed, roaring stallions! Meet James, Lisa, Randall, and Toshi. Each character has a unique ability and weapon equipped to their custom built ride, allowing you to unleash some serious damage on the Junkbot horde. You can switch them up anytime you want to match it to your playstyle. Get upgrades and unlock some sweet special skins both for this unique bunch of bikers and for their steel mounts!”

“Your mission is to fight off the Junkbot horde infesting Coastal City. Start your engine cause in your way will stand over 10 different enemy units ready to be wrecked with your sweet roaring machine. As you progress through the story you’ll uncover the veil of the mystery behind the Junkbot invasion. How did it all start? How did those robots come to life? Will you be able to save your City?“

The story leaves quite a bit to the imagination, which in this case is fine. Because, let’s face it, who cares. We are here to take out these menacing robots, and that’s all we care about.

no, to be fair there is a fun little story behind it all, but rather than feed it you the player upfront and have you take on the role your character we instead uncover more of the mystery as to what is going on as the game progresses.

A quick glance at the Gameplay.

Let’s take a quick look at the controller set up and overall feel of the gameplay.

Movement is set to lateral lines with the exception of ramps and when using the Wheelsaw to travel up, and down pipes at all sorts of unrealistic angles.

U-turns are employed in the game which is called upon regularly when met with dead ends or having to backtrack after spooling up a bridge or gate from a nearby spot.

Attacks include your main cannon that appears to be a fiery, blast wave that’s more difficult to control than expected. Within the demo there is a weapon crate that can be grabbed by hopping off one of the vertical pipes at the right moment, if you don’t do this, you won’t get to try out the secondary weapon. Although, the weapon found appears to be some sort of pistol or otherwise weak and almost useless firearm.

Another attack that can be used is your spin movement, whereas you probably guessed your character performs a quick 360, damaging nearby robots, or destroy them entirely like the case of the small minion type droids.

According to the keymap in the controller settings, there is an Ultimate ability, but that doesn’t come up in the short demo.

In the top right corner of the screen you have a bar for your health, and another for your boost? Again, this isn’t covered in the demo as it all seems pretty straightforward and as such Tate Multimedia has given you the benefit of the doubt and leaves you to figure out the obvious points. This is demonstrated by not giving any description for devices and objects you interact with.

There is a machine of sorts that, when connected to, will recharge your health and boost. No description needed, you see what happens and move on, noting that those things heal you and such. Thank you, Tate, for not assuming we are all idiots.

Both the health and boost bars refill on their own over time, so one could theoretically just wait before proceeding as the enemies are not actively hunting you and rather attack when you are in range as a reactionary effect.

Now, I have been very open with you all in the past by admitting that gaming is a passion of mine but by no means do I possess any sort of exceptional talent for it.

Well, with that in mind would you believe I failed to complete the simple demo level multiple times? Of course you would. Especially if you have ever been present for one of our surprise live streams.

I died a couple of times by simply rushing, and crashing headfirst into a wall which was forgivable on the first run because I really had no clue what pace was expected and by all accounts, it seemed like it was meant to be played like a run-and-gun motocross hybrid. The second time this happened was mainly due to overconfidence.

Taking it more slowly, I was making good progress until trying to grab the aforementioned weapon crate. This resulted in a death by gravity type situation, which is why I may seem a bit salty about a mere pistol being the fruits of my second attempt.

VERDICT

There is no way that Steel Rats could fail within the targeted market, it delivers on all the promised elements.

The price is very reasonable, the gameplay is fun and challenging enough to require some skill and care. The animation, graphic design, artwork, and music all create an environment that feels like it suits the state of the game.

Overall this one impressed us quite a lot, and within the space of motorcycle carnage and mayhem, Steel Rats has found a welcoming home.

A video of the initial playtest performed by Elgreegsio and your’s truly will be uploaded soon.

What are your thoughts on Steel Rats? Do you have another platformer we should take a look at?

Let us know in the comments below.

Now, I have been very open with you all in the past by admitting that gaming is a passion of mine but by no means do I possess any sort of exceptional talent for it.

Well, with that in mind would you believe I failed to complete the simple demo level multiple times? Of course, you would. Especially if you have ever been present for one of our surprise live streams.

I died a couple of times by simply rushing, and crashing headfirst into a wall which was forgivable on the first run because I really had no clue what pace was expected and by all accounts, it seemed like it was meant to be played like a run-and-gun motocross hybrid. The second time this happened was mainly due to overconfidence.

Taking it more slowly, I was making good progress until trying to grab the aforementioned weapon crate. This resulted in a death by gravity type situation, which is why I may seem a bit salty about a mere pistol being the fruits of my second attempt.

"There is no way that Steel Rats could fail within the targeted market, it delivers on all the promised elements."
8.5/10

Leave a Reply