Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rock On My Friends Until I Kill You: Rock of Ages Review

Now available on Xbox Live, PSN and Steam.
Rocking and a rollin, wheel'n and a dealing, then suddenly getting your dream smashed by a giant boulder. Rock of Ages from Atlus is a very bizarre game, but a fun one where you can literally smoosh your adversary with a giant boulder.

The story is that of Sisyphus who escapes from Hades with the same damned object he was suppose to keep rolling up a hill for all eternity, the boulder, your main tool in your attempt to conquer the world.

It seems everyone throughout history used giant boulders and strange race tracks for said boulders in the use of war. Why you go after Napoleon and other historical figures isn't explained, it just seem like that's what you do.

Game play is comprised of two modes rolling and creating. In rolling you simple control your boulder. Don't make it fall of the strange tracks, dodge attacks, trample villagers. Oh, the trampling and smashing and breaking people and places at high velocities is fun.

Then there's your down time where you create the obstacles for the other guy whose trying to smash you. You see your in a castle somewhere and your job is to smash into the other guy's castle to smoosh them. No more leader, no more war. Obstacles vary from forts to dynamite to dirigibles in the sky, cows, weird elephant like things and whatever your use to in a history battlefield sim. You get money to spend on all these obstacles from all the smashing you do.
Gameplay wise it's fun to control and object of death, running over the innocent peasants and soldiers. My problem was the camera for the boulder, which is hard to control on turns and when you need it on turns it can be costly. Don't fret because the hand of God picks you up and places you back on course. The other annoyance might be the over top view camera in create mode The controls for it never felt that right. The grid system to put the obstacles in just doesn't seem to fit with the game. Maybe if better animation like let's say a hand of God or lighting made the castles and animals spring forth it be more exciting. It kind of slows, down your high of just destruction.
The game has some very nice aesthetics to it. When you enter a certain time period, the background or sky of the land looks like the art style of the time. It's really eye-catching and you can't always catch while rolling. Your to concentrated on smashing. However, these great pieces of art are left floating as the sky. The courses and it's residents or people you smash have a great cut out style. They look like the art style of the time to, but get afraid and yell if you hit them.

The greatest fun is fights with friends both over Xbox Live and local split screen, there's just something about whose going to smash who first against a real player that makes the game more exciting. There's also SkeeBoulder play, just like Skeeball, for some extra fun.

Rock of Ages is a game that maybe could have let a little more insight into who you were battling through history, but at it's rocky core it's a game to smash your friends heads in.

I was given a promo code for this game  from Atlus for review purposes.