Wednesday 23 March 2022

RoboCop 3 (Commodore Amiga review)

Developer: Digital Image Design
Publisher: Ocean
Released: 1992

RoboCop 3 is a first-person action game that's based on the 1993 movie of the same name.

As RoboCop, your mission is to seek out the criminals responsible for murdering Detroit police officer Murphy. The opening driving sequence offers a smooth frame-rate and convincing 3D visuals. While the stage doesn't do a great job of signposting you towards your destination, there is at least a map to stop you wandering around in circles. However, the toughest and most infuriating part of the game is the controls. While they're twitchy and overly sensitive in the driving sections it is possible to adjust by taking things slowly. In contrast, the first-person shooting levels are an absolute nightmare as it's impossible to strafe meaning you'll have to slowly turn 90° to see if any bad guys are around the corner, all the while being shot and losing precious life. It's puzzling why it wasn't included, and if it wasn't doable then perhaps this whole gameplay element would have benefited from being an on-rails shooter. What also induces rage is that enemies are seemingly capable of shooting through walls and despite their location being completely out of your field-of-view you'll still take damage until you rush forward with reckless abandon and no regard for stealth tactics. It's a real shame, as these levels look absolutely stunning with their 3D polygons and gritty art style. The frame-rate is solid too and the music provides ample tension that fits the series to a tee. Similarly, the SFX are top notch and the sound of your machine gun blasting away is extremely satisfying! Tying everything together are lots of cut-scenes and news reports, but they outstay their welcome and tend to drag on for too long.

RoboCop 3 screams of wasted potential, as it does so many things right from its astounding graphics, captivating world and gameplay variety, yet it shoots itself in the foot by including some seriously wonky controls. A basic strafe ability would have done wonders, but without it you're bound to an experience filled with cheap hits.

Random trivia: The game included an anti-piracy dongle that was quickly cracked by hackers.

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