If you find it a little random that a franchise like Rush’n Attack is getting a revival, then you’re not alone. It surely isn’t the most obvious franchise to revive, but when it comes to Ex-Patriot, you’ll hardly care.
Essentially, the game doesn’t feel anything like the old arcade game, instead moving in a Shadow Complex direction, though there are some important changes. But if my time with the game at E3 taught me anything, it’s that I am absolutely ready for some more action in the style of Shadow Complex.
The demo begins with the main character escaping a prison cell. I was hurried through the cutscenes, but I was informed that the game does have plot connections to the original Rush’n Attack, and I did at least glimpse the cutscene styles, which are presented in comic book-style pop up boxes, which contain some nice looking art. Overall, the presentation of the game seems fairly simple but entirely competent.
The demo took me through a tutorial of sorts, introducing me to the combat, which involves nothing but a knife in the beginning. However, the player is given a variety of ways to take down enemies that may even remind players of the Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell series. Two particular abilities seemed quite cool to me: the character can hang over edges and pull enemies down, which can either kill them or just damage and stun them, and he can hide in dark doorways, keeping him hidden from enemies and allowing him to pop out and stealthily kill them.
The control in the game is quite simple, but it also offers just enough variety. For instance, in the above situation, you can choose to either pop out of the doorway and slit your enemy’s throat or pull the enemy into the doorway and kill him there. Basic movement and jumping feels good as well; the character can perform wall jumps to climb elevator shafts, crouch to sneak up on enemies from behind, and just about everything you’d expect from a stealth-centric 2D exploration game.
While the demo didn’t include any gunplay, one thing was clear: the game is 100% 2D. That is, you won’t encounter any enemies in the backgrounds of environments, ensuring that the wonkiness of Shadow Complex’s background shooting won’t be an issue here. Firing weapons will simply be a matter of aiming using the right analog stick and firing rather than hoping that the game will choose the right layer of the environment.
A game like this would be nothing without exploration, and I was assured that there would be no lack of it in the game. I did get to see a brief bit of that, which included mostly small hidden rooms in the demo. Similarly, there will be plenty of collectibles throughout your playtime.
Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot isn’t a game that’s likely to become an instant favorite in your collection, but it will certainly provide a decent dose of high-quality side-scrolling exploration and combat, and score leaderboards will help to extend the experience for those who are looking to get lost in the game for a few more hours. Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot will be available in the fall.