The space oriented side-scroller is finally coming to the PC with some gravity oriented action. The once PS3 exclusive, Rochard, presents gamers with a side-scroller experience that may or may not bring the side-scrolling universe to a new level at an affordable price. So, is Rochard a game that you must add to your collection or will it defy gravity and float away into an asteroid field?
Voice acting: The main character, John Rochard, is an astro-miner that brings some southern charm to the game. It is a nice touch that adds some depth to the character and gives you a sense that your character stands for good. Other characters, such as his partner Skyler, are also voiced well, but they can sound somewhat scripted at times when compared to the main protagonist.
Gameplay: Imagine if portal and Half-life 2 were mixed together in a side-scroller environment. Yep, that combination is what Rochard’s gameplay is all about. You can expect to wield a gravity gun that can toss your enemies in the air and manipulate objects all while solving some puzzles. The gameplay is a great combination that works well since it provides gamers with a steady flow of action and problem solving.
Soundtrack: The background music really hits home with the overall theme of the game. Rochard’s sound provides the player with a sense of immersion while playing through an isolated and futuristic mining station.
Lack of graphics options: Since this is the PC version of the game in question, it would have been nice to have some graphics options outside of adjusting the resolution. However, on the flip side, Rochard is not a demanding game at all. Recoil Games used the Unity engine to create the game. As a result, most gamers will be able to play the game just fine at their given resolution. While it would have been nice to have some settings to play with, this isn’t really too much of a big deal.
Unable to customize controls: Unfortunately, in the build I played, I was unable to customize my controls. There may be some way to do this in a configuration file, but it would have been nice to have this implemented within the game’s menu. Fortunately, Rochard supports both mouse and keyboard and a controller setup. The default mouse and keyboard controls is the typical WASD configuration most PC gamers are use to, but some gamers out there may want to change their controls to suit their own style of play.
Predictable story elements: While you definitely get your money’s worth as far as price is concerned, the story is a bit bland and predictable. The plot is decent enough to keep you engaged in the experience until the end of the game with some humorous one-liners. However, there were times in Rochard where you may think it could have been improved in some areas. Again, this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, especially when considering the price combined with the gameplay elements that Rochard offers to the player.
Rochard is one of those games that is hard to pass up. Its campaign will last you anywhere from 5 to 8 hours depending how good you are at solving puzzles and shooting down the enemy. Rochard also really shines in the gameplay department, which makes up for the seemingly lackluster story. You can expect to wield an upgradable gravity gun that’s used for both solving puzzles and gunning down enemies. Furthermore, the music and voice acting are entertaining and engaging, which adds some depth to the atmosphere. In this scenario, the good points simply outweigh the bad. Overall, Rochard is a well rounded side-scroller that is a blast to play through.
Rochard PC Review by FacTor-X