Steel Rats... Reviewed!

If you are a fan of motorcycle games like... Trials, then Steel Rats is the game for you (trust me). It gives you that stunt bike type of experience packed into one awesome badass sci-fi adventure that I'd love to see made into a film. You're part of this motorcycle gang called the Steel Rats, taking on robots in this full-throttled platformer. I can even call it a sort of... beat em' up on wheels.

One thing I really appreciate in this game is the fact that they could have gone the route of a stunt bike racing game or the direction of a Road Rash clone, but... they didn't. Thank you thank you. Road Rash was fun, but what they did with this game just makes it worthy of being part of a gaming library that's chock full of variety.

I won't say the Road Rash route wouldn't have done well, and they can even add on a stunt mode of sorts if they choose to in this game, but they went outside the box in Steel Rats. Yes, you can jump ramps, do tricks, and all that good stuff... to boost your score in each level (been there done that), but you're doing so on a fun adventure. You're going somewhere... while dodging the beams of killer robots, avoiding on-coming trains, racing to avoid rolling bots, unloading bullets into death machines, and using your many abilities with your bikes to take down these bots. I went through all that in the Prolog.

You start off playing with one member of the Steel Rats (Toshi), but... you can unlock each member of the gang as you proceed, along with outfits, perks, charge attacks, ultimate attacks, and secrets. The animations and power-ups are impressive, even if it gets a bit hectic and I forget to use some of the tools in my arsenal.

Visually this game reminds me of something Avalanche Studios would develop... based on the charming detail. Animations are also clean and... even if there's not much to a bike turning around, I find myself enjoying that every time I play. The gameplay is smooth, and that small thing of turning around in certain areas is a Godsend when you have a little problem like a... GIGANTIC bot coming after you. I wasn't riding down ramps in this case, I was jumping over railings and spinning my motorcycle mid-air to get the hell outta dodge. So once you get adjusted to playing, you will be able to figure out the best methods and character for you.

Based on how often you die in the game... you will have to switch to the other available bikers. If you have one available, you can continue with that biker, if you have 2 remaining... you can use them (you get the idea).

TIP: Since you can switch between bikers in-game... I recommend switching to a biker with full health if one of your other bikers has lost their health and is close to dying. I say this because it saves the life of the other character.... and when you reach a fuel station, you can replenish everyone.

I noticed that I was facing quite a few of the same enemies in Steel Rats, but they get a pass based on how they did it. You have the base enemy that you deal with throughout the game (your basic minions), but others are introduced periodically... almost like mini bosses. After the introduction... you see these stronger enemies here and there... just not as often as the minion, but they mix it up well and there are enough for it not to deliver the feel of repetition. They're bots, so they're going to be replicated, but... they also made the locations different, they don't feel... recycled.

You have multiple cities to venture through, and it's not just one location for each city. The prolog begin in Olbarrow... which had 7 Districts, Halcyon Isle has 6 Districts, LakePort has 6 Districts, WarrensGate has 5, and Felyards has 4. So you have lots of wheeling to do. These locations are broke up into 6 chapters. The Prolog, Chapters 1 - 4, and the Epilog... which come with their own hand-drawn cutscenes.

In terms of the audio, you aren't missing out on anything here. You get nice clean sound from the chainsaw tires that slice through bots, and cars, to the beautiful sound of a shotgun clearing the crowd of metal programmed to do you in. I've been back and forth just looking at the animations, audio + visuals and... the dev team made one solid game (top to bottom).

The replay value is sweet in this game. In-game you can collect "Junk" to be used for Upgrades and Skins for your gang, which is one cog in the replay value bot... but that's not all. You also get the Secrets, which clearly you will have to search to find in each level (that sends replay value soaring), but you also have the Level Objectives like scoring a certain amount, completing it in a certain time, pulling off a certain type of move, or destroying a certain type of bot. I'm still not done... you also have 46 Accomplishments to go after in this game, and last but not least... you have Leaderboards. So if you want a game to spend some serious time in... this will surely deliver.

I still don't know how Dirty Harry got 50,500 out of the very first level... but I'm willing to see if I can surpass that. SDGT Ent is currently at Rank #17.

Price wise... Steel Rats roars in at $19.99, which is $5 to $10 below where it could've been placed. Thumbs up for being sensible because... more people can actually purchase a reasonably priced game, which could win over more expensive games if it's just that good. There are some great games at this price, and this is one of em'.

Overall, I think Steel Rats is one bad ass platformer that challenges your skills on a motorcycle through one rubber burning experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. Looks great, sounds good, the fun factor is there and it's priced right.

Fun factor: 4

Visuals: 5

Replay value: 5

Price: 5

"4.75 / 5 Cool Points"

Brought to you by the... Baby Fu Clothing Co!