It's been a few years yet zany rock-rolling good times are back in Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break so let the destruction commence.
I've been a Rock of Ages fan since the original debuted on PlayStation 3. Since then, I've enjoyed Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder and have been eagerly anticipating this sequel. For the unfamiliar, the core gameplay involves 2 main elements: rolling a boulder down an obstacle-filled course and erecting defenses to impede your opponents' boulders. The former plays a lot like Super Monkey Ball but with more destruction while the latter is similar to a basic real-time strategy game. Swapping between these 2 modes of gameplay creates a tense formula for matches because you want to penetrate your opponent's gate before they get a chance to mow yours down and the resulting constant tug-of-war is impressively exciting. With that out of the way, what's new with Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break?
For starters, the main difference is right in the title. The "Break" part is the already established gameplay while the "Make" part is something new: community levels. That's right; you can now create and share your own levels which can incorporate any of the game modes such as Obstacle Course, War, Skee Boulder, and Humpty Dumpty. Creating levels is fairly easy to do although the interface is a bit unintuitive and requires some fumbling around before you can be efficient at it. With that being said, I must say that the community element feels a bit unnecessary because it isn't all that fun to make your own levels and none of the community levels that I played felt all that different to what you get in the main game. I mean, it's a cool addition but it's far from something like LittleBigPlanet.
Thankfully, I prefer playing Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break solo and its story campaign is more robust than ever as it features a rewarding overworld and various stage types. As you master each stage, you'll be ranked on the leaderboard as well as earn a star or 2 or 3. Amassing a wealth of stars will allow you to access more level clusters and you'll unlock more boulders and defenses as you progress, too. Stage types include Time Trials where you control a bomb with a lit fuse, standard Obstacle Courses, Skee Boulder challenges which are inspired by Skee-Ball, and Wars against historical and mythical characters. Some modes are more exciting than others with the Wars being my favourite and Skee Boulder being my least favourite due to its overall randomness which is generally quite luck-based.
Of course, as with all of the Rock of Ages games, Make & Break's core gameplay gets quite tiresome after a while, especially because some matches can last a rather long time which definitely wore me down as I played. Yes, it's a ton of fun but considering you basically do the same thing over and over again no matter which mode you're playing, the gameplay overstays its welcome if you play it for longer than an hour or so at a time. Also, not only is the interface clunky when creating levels, the menus can be a bit confusing as well. It's often difficult to know which onscreen option is selected so I'd sometimes simply back out of menus if I ever got lost setting up my next gaming session or level creation. It's not a big deal yet it is odd that navigating the menus is as tricky as it is.
Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is the best in the series yet so if you enjoy smashing things by rolling a giant boulder around and setting up traps to mess with your foes then you'll have a blast making and breaking in this fun-filled sequel.
- + Awesome classic blend of ball-rolling destruction and real-time strategy
- + Story campaign is more robust than ever
- + Creation aspect adds a sense of community
- - Like always with these games, the gameplay gets repetitive after a while
- - Creating levels isn't all that fun
- - Interface can be clunky at times