Review: RICO (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Wreckfest
Format: PSN (4.1 GB)
Release Date: Mar 12, 2019
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Developer: Ground Shatter
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US) £15.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI Rating: 16
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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Most people have heard of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, it was used to prosecute the Mafia as well as others in organized crime.

Gameplay:
RICO has three main game modes, Quick and Daily are self-explanatory, and the main mode is called Case. The objective is to gather evidence to build a case against the enemy gang. Although, I end up wiping most of them out in the process.

The first level is a training area with wooden targets to eliminate. It’s a nice way to learn the controls and practice aiming with the pistol. However, I’m unable to slow time when bursting through the many doors, and trying to shoot a target side-on is almost impossible. I tend to just clobber them with my baton instead of trying to aim at the slither of wood. This was my first taste of poor level design.

After the training, I’m free to choose the next level along the web of routes, with some named henchmen to dispatch in a few of the randomly generated levels. They don’t seem to be any tougher or have guards, so I always go for them. Quite often I would kill them just thinking it was just another grunt.

There are a few themes for the levels: a building site, office, and apartments. There are two floors and locked rooms, accessible after destroying the computerized locks close by. There are sometimes bombs to diffuse and always plenty of health and ammo. Suitcases full of evidence are highlighted throughout should I not spot them as I gun my way through the rooms.

Collecting the evidence and piles of cash scattered throughout isn’t as easy as it should be and I often get slowed down as I need to stop and aim directly on the object. It feels as if they still have the cursor from the PC version, just invisible and fixed to the center of the screen.

There is a horde mode, of sorts, which chucks me into an underground car park and hurls waves of enemies at me from all directions. It wasn’t much fun, as I had to resort to being hit and turning toward the impact marker to find the troublesome shooters.

I’ve managed to unlock a few Traits that help my character. Shades that give immunity to being stunned, Deep Pockets increase max ammo, and Hipster which reduces recoil when shooting from the hip.

The Platinum Trophy isn’t difficult to obtain, just time-consuming and something I’m not going to bother with.

Visuals:
The menu is a little clunky and needs some refining as it doesn’t feel suited to the console; it wouldn’t surprise me if it looked identical to the PC version. I love the slow-motion effect when bursting through a door, I just wish it would last longer.

Audio:
RICO has got some nice music and sound effects. Nothing really stands out.

Online/Multiplayer:
You can join or invite a friend to play some co-op or just play with randoms on the internet. I failed to find people on the net but did grab the wife and played a few local co-op games. We had fun and I eventually managed to force my wife to stop barging into rooms guns blazing as I was exploring the previous one we had just cleared.

Conclusion:
The biggest draw for RICO is the slow-motion gunfights in procedurally generated levels. However, the controls feel better suited for mouse and keyboard, which is also evident from the clunky menu design. Then we have the procedurally generated rooms that do work, in that I haven’t got stuck or couldn’t get to an area or room, but the layouts just don’t make sense and it looks too repetitive. I had to bring up the map too often for my liking. This is an architect’s nightmare and it ended up spoiling the game for me.

Nothing is broken but it doesn’t feel complete, as if the developers at Ground Shatter finally managed to get the game to generate useable levels but didn’t bother to make sure they were fun or made any kind of logical sense.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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