Everyone's favourite oversized chicken is back for another penguin-stomping adventure. However, does this sequel live up to one of the most memorable 2D action games of 2011? Read on and let's see if it's for the birds.
Rocketbirds is known for its dark sense of humour. You play as a tough-as-nails rooster named Hardboiled Chicken who's on a mission to put an end to the evil penguin dictator Il Putzki. If you've played the first game then you're probably thinking that he should be dead but for some reason he's back and more sinister than ever. In fact, he has now set up a factory to make meat out of chickens. It's a very dark premise for a game yet the humour always manages to shine through to make it a truly ridiculous journey. The cartoonish characters and interesting environments help to provide a suitable setting for the absurd plot. Speaking of which, if you have a 3D television then Rocketbirds 2 will put it to good use because it looks very nice in 3D. On top of this, the soundtrack by series veterans New World Revolution adds a great deal of coolness to the equation. Overall, Rocketbirds 2: Evolution continues the original's humorous narrative, visual style, and music wonderfully.
The main campaign consists of six lengthy chapters that'll take you at least a few hours to work through. Along the way, you'll uncover many weapons and gadgets that'll help you fend off and manipulate enemy guards. You'll battle your way through rooms full of foes and even spend some time swimming and flying as if you're playing a twin stick shooter. Besides these shootouts, you'll also get to use a couple of phone devices to control guards. One allows you to command them to do as you wish but if they see you then they'll shoot while another puts them in a trance state that they can't break out of. The disadvantage to the latter is that you have to self-destruct the guard while the former allows you to simply hang up the phone to leave them standing there. This comes in handy when you need them to stand on a switch, etc. There are also sections where you can pick up and place allies who act as weights and keys. In the end, the mixture of hectic action and puzzle elements is fantastic as it'll constantly keep you on your toes.
As if the campaign isn't enough, there's also Rescue Mode that allows you to play cooperative missions either online or locally for up to four players. You can play this mode by yourself, too, but that makes it much more challenging and it's definitely not as enjoyable. Anyway, you control a small bird of your choice while trying to track down the missing Hardboiled Chicken and rescue other birds along the way. An aspect that makes this mode rewarding is that you earn cash that you can use at shops to purchase more weapons and turn your character into a true bird of prey. It's awesome that Rescue Mode adds hours of fun to an already great game.
Although I absolutely loved my time with Rocketbirds 2: Evolution, there are a few downsides that add needless frustration to the experience. The first is that you can't pause the game when changing your weapon set. Thankfully, you can equip two weapons simultaneously and switch between them on the fly but when they just won't do in the current situation then you're forced to go through a clunky menu while taking a few shots. Next, I only got stuck a few times throughout the campaign but whenever I managed to figure out what to do, it was due to hazarding a guess. Some examples of this include using a specific weapon to harm a boss or finding the correct path when a countdown is ticking away. Finally, I found the weapons to be significantly imbalanced. For example, one gun can shoot an enemy dozens of times before they go down while a carefully aimed shot from another firearm can do the trick instantly. Because of this, I only ever used a few of the many available weapons in my arsenal.
Rocketbirds 2: Evolution is an incredibly enjoyable 2D action game that's bursting with craziness. Although it has a few frustrating elements, the amount of fun to be had here will make you as happy as a rooster in a hen house.
- + Addictive blend of 2D action and puzzle gameplay mechanics
- + Rescue Mode adds hours of replay value
- + Dark sense of humour is spot-on
- - Not being able to pause while changing your weapon set causes problems
- - Some parts require too much guesswork
- - Weapons are very imbalanced