It's rare to see a true 8-bit game in this day and age where consumers are craving hyper-realism. Retro City Rampage is a breath of fresh air when it comes to action games. It has a great sense of humor that doesn't stop throughout the game.
Retro City Rampage takes cues from many different action movies. You play as a thief working to rob banks and cause mayhem throughout the city. While the themes and events in this game are obviously cliché, Retro City Rampage pokes fun of itself by going way over the top with its action sequences.
The story of Retro City Rampage plays out in cut scenes with dialog boxes. There is no voice acting in this game, which doesn't make much of a difference as it leaves more to the player's imagination. The writing in the game is fun and never stops being self-referential or purposely campy.
Players will get a kick out of trying to identify every game that Retro City Rampage pays homage to.
The graphics of Retro City Rampage are pure nostalgia. Everything is displayed from a top down view much like the original Grand Theft Auto and even RPGs like Pokémon. Cut scenes in Retro City Rampage feature more detail but remains in the retro, '80s graphics aesthetics. While its graphics aren't very detailed, it doesn't stop Retro City Rampage from being completely engrossing.
Gameplay is where Retro City Rampage really shines. Players are put into this open world where any vehicle can be stolen. There is a story mode but players can deviate from the story at any time. Bored of the story? Take on some side missions instead and acquire some money.
Missions in story mode are satisfying. There is great variation from the types of missions you're giving. There are car chases, stealth missions, and missions where you have to rain hellfire on innocent civilians. Players will be rewarded with ammunition, different weapons, and points for causing more mayhem.
Throughout the game, players will be given puzzles and challenges to solve, mixing some strategy into the mindless killing sprees. You can even wander into an arcade to play arcade games, which makes for a very meta gaming experience.
While Retro City Rampage features a leaderboard so you and your friends can compare scores, there is no co-op or multiplayer modes, which is a shame. Co-op would have elevated the fun of the game by letting you wax nostalgic with a buddy.
The soundtrack of Retro City Rampage features chiptunes, or 8-bit, synthesized music. The soundtrack if fast paced and works with the crazy amount of things going on the screen at once. The sound effects are often comical in a good way. Explosions sound hefty and subsequently make them feel hefty.
Retro City Rampage is a breath of fresh air in an age of hyper-real games. Its humor and addictive gameplay are more than enough to keep you smiling throughout the game.