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Robocop iOS Game Review
Robocop is a franchise, one franchise however nostalgic that is from a bygone era. An era when “walking like an Egyptian” wasn’t uncommon, and Ninja Turtles ruled every child’s wish list. This is however, not the Robocop of old. This is a new Robocop a potential franchise starter for MGM and Columbia Studios, who have partnered with veteran mobile games developer Glu Mobile to bring us a reason to remember the name of Robocop by giving us this fun if derivative stop ‘n pop shooter.
Robocop stars our titular Robocop Alex Murphy after he has recently become the subject of an experiment by the infamous Omnicorp mega-corporation to turn living tissue into controllable robotic drones. Fresh off the assembly line Murphy is thrust into training scenarios to prepare him for what he will face on the streets. Once the premise gets out of the way after two short action packed tutorial missions you will be allowed to browse the games wares which can be bought with either in game cash or the dreaded in app purchases. The game bears more than a surface similarity to Glu’s own “Frontline Commando” series of games, with a run down Detroit replacing that games usual locales. The variety in this game comes from using Robocop’s signature gadgets and weaponry to mow down baddies in several incredibly similar environments around the Detroit cityscape.
Controls are simple you use one thumb to control your aim on the left and a second thumb on the right side of the screen to pop out and shoot along with make more precision adjustments to your aim. There are a variety of on screen buttons used to do actions that help you in your neverending quest to clean up the streets. They do a multitude of things from slowing down time to help you nail more precise critical shots, to calling in a drone to attack and draw fire from your enemies for starters. The control is quick and snappy but the guns that you start with are wildly inaccurate. This can cause a mild frustration early in the game you are however given an upgrade tree for each weapon you acquire and spending a small amount of in game money to boost their accuracy allows you to pull off amazing shots that would make Peter Weller proud.
The sound in the game is a particularly strong point the guns have a nice pop and with a decent pair of stereo headphones the sound of bullets whizzing past your head is well done. The soundtrack is entirely electronic music mixed with your typical cinematic score. It works alright enough but unfortunately there simply aren’t many songs in the game.
The problem with this is that most of the deadlier weapons and abilities are blocked off behind a strict and expensive pay wall limiting the amount of fun that can be had up front by this game’s freemium asking price. Buying Gold for a minimum of $4.99 which can then be converted into other resources for these upgrades is a costly and mostly pointless venture since buying gold for the aforementioned $4.99 is not anywhere near enough to buy over 90% of the locked off content. Now lets talk about energy, this is one of those games with an energy meter that you use to be able to go on missions. Your energy meter can be anywhere between 1 and 100 with each mission you go on taking anywhere from 10 energy upwards. Your energy does however regenerate at a rate of a single energy for each minute you aren’t playing the game. You can of course restore it instantly foregoing the one hour forty minute wait time if you pay, one dollar. While I didn’t have problems with the energy restriction during my play time that fact that it exists should tell you just how deep the IAPs run in this game.
While it can be fun to blow up hordes of lawbreakers and inhuman mechanical monstrosities, including the classic ED-209 there isn’t enough in this mobile offering to warrant paying for many, or any additional weapons or upgrades. Robocop can be a great deal of fun, as long as you can avoid the IAPs as much as the gameplay has you avoiding bullets.