you accidentally played Robots or were warned against
it by our review, don't despair Scrapland is here.
It's the game that Robots could have been - if it
has virtually everything that you could wish for in
a game although a little more gameplay variety would
be welcome. It's loaded with humor, action, great
graphics, interesting characters and a kicking soundtrack.
Even the voiceovers are good and I sure didn't expect
that. Developer, MercuryStream, has done a commendable
job in bringing this robotic world to life. Something
that Eurocom failed to do with Robots.
is an asteroid inhabited by robots. D-Tritius makes
his way there only to find that only job available
is that of a lowly journalist. Obviously MercuryStream
has confidence that this game is good enough to warrant
great reviews, or else it's under the impression that
journalists have a good sense of humor.
you don't have a sense of humor then Scrapland isn't
for you. There's more to this game than the gameplay.
It's like taking a tour in someone's powerful imagination.
You have to wallow in all of the details. Okay, back
to the story
finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation.
All robots are essentially protected by the Great
DataBase where they can be re-uploaded should an accident
or erasing occur. The Great DataBase contains information
on all of the robots. It doesn't take our hero very
long to hack into it and find ways to change himself
into different versions of robots. They are more than
just disguises, it's like playing an entirely new
character. Certain robots must be used to complete
some missions. You don't want to get caught in another
robots' skin. There are guards everywhere, on the
ground and in the sky. You have to sneak around them,
hide or run. They have a bad habit of scanning robots
to make sure that everything is in order.
have the power to "over-write" a robot right
on the spot. That amounts to murder and can trigger
an alarm. If you set one off you'll have to hide until
the heat cools down. There's a meter to indicate the
threat level. Lives are three for 1000 credits but
you don't really need them since you can save your
progress anywhere and start over from your last save.
nothing like a little spaceship piloting to break
up the gameplay. Although you start with a small and
limited ship you can purchase bigger ones that you
can customize with better weapons, armor and more
powerful engines. These spaceships are a lot of fun
to use. The physics is just right and you can lock-on
to enemies, not with weapons but with a force that
attracts your ship to theirs. This makes dogfights
a lot easier since you can lose your opponent in the
vastness of space quite easily.
start out with clutter missiles and chainguns which
do the trick but eventually you will graduate to an
electrically charged Tesla gun and a Devastator. Each
ship has certain weight and room restrictions which
means that you can't just throw everything onto one
ship and make it indestructible. You have to use some
strategy to balance all of your additions. If the
weapons and armor are heavy, the ship will be slow
and may require a more powerful engine. The interface
is a little confusing when it comes to customizing
so take some time and experiment to see what you can
get away with. In some cases you can actually add
things directly on top of previous additions although
it's not clearly stated on the interface.
can be acquired rather easily in the game although
it can be a tedious process involving collecting and
fetch quests. You'll need money for bigger and better
spaceships as well as upgrades. They can get expensive
and they take on a lot of damage. Sometimes you can
just steal one or you can just forget about it and
take the subway to get to your destination if you're
a little short on cash.
is a linear game and there's lots of fetch quests.
Most of the challenge is navigating through the huge
levels. Fortunately there's a map that shows you where
you are but it's still easy to get lost. To make the
most out of this game you definitely have to stop
and smell the roses. The NPCs are funny and witty.
There's a lot of satire in the game that pokes fun
at our society through the eyes of robots. The architecture
is amazing with a blend of highly polished metallic
surfaces jutting into the sky and organic terrain.
I don't use the term eye-candy a lot in reference
to videogames but I wouldn't hesitate to use it to
describe the environments you'll see here.
Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag multi-player
modes are a nice addition. They don't offer anything
beyond a solid experience but it's an added bonus
to be surrounded by such great graphics.
hope that Scrapland gets the recognition that it deserves.
It's one of the reasons that the Xbox was invented.
The PS2 wouldn't do it justice. I can't wait to see
what the developers will come up with next.