The original Rocketbirds introduced me to the outlandish concept of an eighties movie inspired action platformer that has a chicken wielding a gun. The sequel, developed by Ratloop Asia, takes this same concept to another level of ridiculousness by adding multiplayer, more over the top scenarios, and some witty humor. Who would have ever thought a chicken wielding a gun would be great idea for a game?
Rocketbirds 2: Evolution on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita offers a fun time to those looking for a platform game that doesn’t take itself too seriously while maintaining responsive controls and well-designed gameplay.
The main hero of the story is Hardboiled Chicken, an eighties style action hero from the first Rocketbirds game on the hunt for his arch-nemesis, Putzki. While the game acknowledges the events of the first game, it doesn’t rely too much on it to set up the story. The bottom line, Putzki is still alive after the final battle from the first game and Hardboiled needs to kill him once and for all.
This kind of gets overshadowed by the crazy fowl enemies and humorous events that you come across throughout Rocketbirds 2’s main story mode. Underwater scuba jetpack penguins and trans-dimensional space owls are only a fraction of the ridiculous things you will find in each level. The story mode last is about six missions long, with each area having multiple sections and hidden areas to explore.
The controls for Rocketbirds 2 are incredibly solid and responsive. Unlike the previous Rocketbirds game, you can now aim with the right analog stick while moving with the left. This makes tense fire fights against multiple enemies feel more fluid and fast paced since you have more mobility while firing your weapons. Speaking of weapons, there are many more to use this time around; including grenade launchers, shotguns, pistols, and all sorts of powerful firearms.
Despite the firepower however, you aren’t invincible to enemy fire and can be gunned down pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. There were a few points where I was constantly overwhelmed with enemy gunfire, but some patience, smart maneuvering, and quick aiming keeps moments like these from feeling too unbalanced or unfair.
There is a cooperative multiplayer mode this time called Rescue Mode, which can be played with up to four players. In Rescue Mode you must complete missions by finding VIPs and bringing them to extraction points, while simultaneously finding cash and items to use for unlockable guns and clothing for your character. You don’t need to play with other players, but it helps make the challenge in Rescue Mode easier with more people.
The only downside here is the bad online matchmaking. It’s easy to make a room and invite others to play cooperatively, but going online however has a lot of latency and connection issues. Rescue Mode can be played offline with up to three friends however, which does take away these concerns and makes for an entertaining experience.
Rocketbirds 2: Evolution is a simple platforming that doesn’t try to do more than what it needs to in order to be fun. The controls are great and story is simple enough to keep you invested throughout. The new multiplayer Rescue Mode is great if you have friends locally that want to get into a fast game, but the online matchmaking is definitely not that good.
If you have a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, the game has both cross-buy and cross-save features so you to continue playing on the go. If you like fun platform games and don’t mind seeing a chicken wielding guns like Rambo, then you’re going to enjoy Rocketbirds 2: Evolution.
This review was based on a digital review copy of Rocketbirds 2: Evolution for the PlayStation 4 provided by Ratloop Asia.