Rush’N Attack: Ex-Patriots
Genre: Stealth Action
Developer: Vatra Games
Available: XBLA, PSN
Overall Score: 6
Wolf Spider is an appropriate nick name for the protagonist of Rush’N Attack: Ex-Patriots. As the feeling of being a predator is the reward for playing this game, but it only lasts for so long. Being an XBLA title this is a condensed experience that narrows it’s focus to fun violence. Providing a story that leaves out all traces of guilt, to the number of ways to slaughter enemies, and the rough visual style of the game. Allowing players to thrust themselves behind the bandana of a military bad ass.
Sid “Wolf Spider” Morrow is a survivor of a U.S. military team set to Rescue a POW held for twenty years in a Russian Prison. The player is introduced to Morrow beaten and thrown in prison after his team’s failed rescue attempt. Being released from is his cell by Gibson, the POW, the player’s first mission is escape. The first chapter of the game is about feeling out the controls and gaining the trill of a murder spree. While being slighting deeper than a puddle, the game creates cause for the mass murder the player will commit. An evil Russian General that is ready to destroy everyone with a small army of mutated soldiers and a mighty powerful missile fueled by a mysterious new element. The story is told though a hand full of motion comic style cut scenes. As well as dialog cuts taken from Bionic Commando Rearmed. Starting as a rescue mission, Rush’N Attack becomes a race to save the world from the threat of new technology.
Rush’N Attack plays like a mash up of Manhunt and Metal Gear, as brutal stealth combat provides a delight for fans of gratuitous violence. Controls feel great and allow for fluid action when played with skill. Provide with a knife that would make Dundee jealous, the player’s main weapon is a massive combat knife that will slice and dice Russians all day long. The game title is very accurate as the game can turn into a killing spree. With a menu of methods of death; the player can run into battles like a thug, hide and shank, or fight skill with a hand full of special moves at a player’s disposal. The lowest form of fighting involves rushing at enemies and relying on thrusting attacks. Why be this lazy, because it’s fun! Stealth kills are performed by sneaking behind an enemy, which is difficult, or hiding in wait for an enemy to spring on. These are the safest kills because it is an instant bloody end without fear of attack. Though it is only safe when performed correctly and punish for failure can be great. This method slows down the action, but raging death animations is the payoff for patents. When faced against an opponent in one on ???, combat a player has a bag of tricks to use. Progression is rewarded with special attacks based on the two attack buttons of strong and weak. Counters are also performed with great timing or luck, but no matter what the reason they are rewarding to pull off. Weapons from defeated enemies are available as well, but are random and at time hinder progress. Though it is always fun to blow people up. The only let down are the boss battle that do not feel rewarding because they are machines. All that is done before a boss battle is vastly different from what the game wants a player to handle a boss. After getting off on intimately taking the lives of countless Russians blowing up a thing just doesn’t have the same kick. With the final boss just about ruining the entire momentum of the game with the slow down forced on the game play. If anything, take out the boss battle and this would be a better game.
The world of Rush’N Attack is dirty and industrial leaving little to no light at the end of the tunnel. This works for the game because grime helps to hide the scaled down graphics, stylized if you will. From starting with Wolf Spider being a beating pulp of a guy to the mechanical monstrosities to face the art style is very cohesive. The main character is made to be blank, as a bandana is made to cover Wolf Spider’s face the entire game. One it helps to hide the lack of graphical detail, but also makes the character more frightening. Which makes me feel more powerful when taking on insane Russian attackers. Darkness is used well to add intimation as the player may not know what is coming down that line as much as the enemy. Making so that the player feels the pressure, or darkness is embraced to get around enemies and get the upper hand. With three chapters featuring their own settings the feeling of the areas never change, but the slight change of background helps to keep chapters fresh. Sound is used very well with regards to effect especially. The music is keeps action going, but just sounds like a cheap Metal Gear soundtrack. Like the rest of the elements of Rush’N Attack the sound enhances the violence with horrifying sounds of knives slashing through meat is a constant power boost. Then most impressive are the enemy voice overs during game play. From chapter to chapter the Russians voices become increasingly other worldly. Almost demon like making it just that much easier to put down everyone in my path.
This is a short game, but time consuming if a play looks for all the cookie crumbs and methods of death. While it is a thrill to slash enemies down like Wolverine the end reward is minimal. As the boss battles keep Rush’N Attack from being an amazing little game. Being a download title it might be best to play a demo before rushing to buy this slaughter fest. If that tickles the dark place in every person soul then plunge head first. Happy Hunting.