Although I had heard the name Rocketbirds before, I had never actually played the previous game. In fact, I thought it was some kind of Angry Birds clone. This it is not.
As soon as you start the game you are greeted with some pretty awesome dubstep; a sign of things to come. Rocketbirds 2 wants you to know that it is a little out of the ordinary.
The story follows the exploits of Hardboiled Chicken, the one chicken army from the first game. While on a mission he uncovers a diabolical plan involving roasted chickens, penguins and his arch-nemesis Putzki. What follows is a great mix of platforming action, with a side helping of light puzzle elements. Each mission requires Hardboiled to navigate his way around the level, killing enemies, uncovering hidden areas and interacting with members of the Budgie Brigade.
Platform: Playstation 4
Multiplayer: 4 Player co-op (Local or online)
The action is controlled with a dual-stick method; using the left stick to move, the right stick to aim and the triggers to shoot. Most of the time the controls worked well, but every once in while I found them fighting against me, which often led to my downfall. While the levels are large, the map can be difficult to decipher and your objectives aren’t always made clear. I also suffered the odd bout of slight nausea due to the background implementing a parallax effect; although not everyone will suffer from this.
One thing that does stand out is the humor, as the game plays off on old eighties action movies and clichés to great effect. Hardboiled Chicken is every bit the action hero, and the bad guys ham it up accordingly. The banter between the various heroes also made me laugh on several occasions. Also, as I mentioned at the start of this review, the music is banging, lending excitement to the proceedings.
The main campaign isn’t too long, just long enough for the average person to get used to how the game works. It’s the co-op mode that really shines here. Called Rescue Mode, this version of the game allows 4 players to team up and attempt rescue missions, with the ultimate goal being to rescue Hardboiled Chicken himself. The game gives you a few of the Budgie Brigade to play with at the start, with others unlocking as you progress through the mode.
The birds are all fully customizable, from their headwear to their shoes, as well as load outs. There is also a hub where the brigade can buy new items, weapons and bullets. This hub expands with each completed mission, allowing for greater unlocks and rewards. Rescue mode is the real meat on this chicken’s bones, and with a great group of friends (either online or off) can really extend the longevity of the game.
Rocketbirds 2: Evolution was a fantastic surprise for me. Having never touched the first game (even though I owned it through PS+), I had no idea what to expect. In the end what I got was a mostly solid single player campaign, with a co-op mode that could have me coming back for ages.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.