Another day, another preview rising on the horizon. This time, the next rising star is incidentally Rising Star Games with their two upcoming games RICO and Decay of Logos, two quite interesting sounding and looking titles I was eager to try out. Unfortunately, while they certainly look interesting, both of them seemed in dire need of more polish to fully deliver on their promises, let´s take a look!
RICO, the first thing one may think about when hearing this name is probably the protagonist of the Just Cause series. Well, at least more often than the actual game with this title anyway. Though in theory it actually sounds quite interesting, offering prcedurally generated levels, where you have to breach and kill everyone in the room, preferrably in slow motion and with a friend. Yes, RICO is a coop-shooter in every regard. While it´s possible to play it alone, I doubt one can have much fun with it, as it has two fundamental problems:
First of all, there´s basically no real diversity. The game generates a random layout filled with different rooms, yes, but at the end of the day, you´re still shooting enemies in rooms, which begin to look the same after a few rounds too. Given, the objective varies too, but honestly, with the ever-same visuals, the boredom is inevitable, despite things like the campaign, that tries to throw a few harder levels at you with limited attempts or the limited but okay horde mode.
On the other hand, the gameplay is simply not really great when you´re focusing on it. It basically is the extracted, harder version of the Call of Duty door breaches, mixed with an okay but very clunky gunplay. It simply wears off, when you´re alone. Together, you can plan your tactic, coordinate who kills who and so on, making it feel a lot more tactical than it actually is, while providing the so fun coop-experience. I think RICO may very well be a fun little coop game for people into a mild, easy to pick up shooter, but not as an hour-long activity, able to keep you constantly on the edge of your seat.
RICO will release early 2019 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Decay of Logos is a whole other beast, basically being one of the most promising games I´ve seen at Gamescom … with heavy emphasis on promising. At first glance, everyone will certainly be amazed by the great 3D art style, the designs, bright colours and generally, whole presentation. When the whole elf village turns into tree people, some even burning down by themselves or simply hammering their heads against stones, it´s time for our heroine to find out what caused this phenomenon. On her way she meets an Elk, who will soon become her friend over time, helping her to traverse the giant world she´s about to explore.
To unravel what happened to her village, she has to travel deep into the ruins scattered around the world. Those work similar to most third person action adventure games, in presenting various enemies and a few puzzles to you. While the puzzles weren´t shown, though they never should be that complicated as I was told, there was an extensive focus on the combat. The base system consists of the lock-on mechanic, once enabled, granting you other attacks for 1v1 fights. The execution then looks a lot like other challenging games, where it´s necessary to dodge, parry and attack in the right moment. Honestly, it didn´t seem bad at all and I can see myself enjoying it quite a bit, especially during bossfights! Unfortunately, the animations in particular still didn´t feel on par, often simply because the models never actually got in contact or movements seemed sloppy.
Same for most visual aspects, which feature interesting, bright nature environments or mysterious dungeons full of wonderful mosaics but still lack the lighting or finesse to make them truly shine. In many cases, Decay of Logos was wonderful but never polished enough to make you forget everything and I often found myself interrupted by one or another technical aspect, dragging the whole thing down.
Decay of Logos will release Fall 2018 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Rising Star Games has an interesting line-up, yet, not a totally impressive one. I especially like Decay of Logos as it has this almost magical charm to it, though both titles looked quite unfinished for their current release plan. So, I wonder how those will turn out in the end and if they can deliver on their promises.