Of all the creative mediums at human disposal there are only a handful in which a badass, gun-toting, jet-pack flying, penguin killing rooster could pass as an effective protagonist. Thankfully video games is one of them.
In Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (RHC) gamers are placed in the abstract boots of Hardboiled, a ruff-and-tumble, one-bird wrecking crew bent on the violent upheaval of Putzki, the tyrannical leader of the penguin regime.
Distilled down to its core RHC is a 2-D platforming shooter in the vein of many a classic in the days before the dawn of simulated 3-D; at times showing strong resemblance to both the Contra and Metroid series. However developer, Ratloop Asia presents an experience that is undeniably unique while simultaneously paying reverence to its old-school roots.
The first thing I noticed on my initial play though is how vigorously stylized the game is. Animations are sharp, although intentionally absurd (think Adult Swim), and the entirety of the game is backed by select tracks from the band New World Revolution. Ratloop took fantastic advantage of their partnership with New World Revolution to spawn some of best (only?) 2D music video cutscenes to ever be featured in a game. It’s not often that cutscenes are considered ‘must see’ but those featured in Rocketbirds easily qualify as such.
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