Think you’re good enough to be a Rocking Pilot? This game seems to think so, as you take charge in your single attack helicopter against an army, or two. Thousands will fight you, as you aim to take them and all of the evil oppessors down. It’s bullethell madness and a throwback shooter with a modern twist – So join us as we take a look at this cartoony and colourful brand new game on Steam and at the end of the article, you can be in with a chance of winning one of our two copies of the game!
|Developer||Mad Head Games|
|Platforms||PC (Windows & Mac)|
|Windows Release||May 2017|
|Genre||Twin-Stick Shooter / Bullethell|
|Price on Steam||£4.79 (US Link)|
In a world ravaged by war which is televised for peoples entertainment, one man, no, one pilot stepped up to solve the problems of the world. With countless deaths and invasions of towns and cities, Rocking Pilot goes up against the odds in his small helicopter and takes on all of the tyrants of the world. Can one small attack helicopter fight off hordes of soldiers and tanks, or will it fall victim to its own bravado?
The story is rather… Basic… But I really don’t have a problem with this. It’s merely there to get you going through the levels. It’s a nice touch!
Fans of bullethell games will be incredibly familiar with the mechanics of the game. You have a super mobile unit that can dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge, which means you must use this to your advantage, as one hit from an enemy bullet will kill you. In return for going against these thousands of units that’ll appear over the course of a level, you get a rather powerful weapon. I used a PS4 remote for the game and the gun was bound to the right bumper (or right trigger, curiously). But of course, dodging and shooting isn’t all you can do, as otherwise you’ll be deader than a dodo faster than you can say explitives.
As well as the basic gun, you get a shield which also deflects bullets back. This is a super important mechanic to get down, as you’re able to do some serious damage bouncing bullets back at the senders. You will need to time your usage of the shield, as it has a limited amount of use before being recharged. Fortunately, you choose how much of a charge is used at any point and the charge will always charge itself back up upon use, so use it as and when you feel necessary, but do keep in mind that there’s a bar on the left hand side, as you wouldn’t want to charge head first into soldiers who were ready to fire at you. Why would you charge at anyone if you can die in one hit? Your helicopter blades are able to do damage too, meaning that if you just fly close to something, you can naturally damage it. This is especially deadly against the smallest unit in the game, the soldiers.
The game gives you a story mode to play through, which gets you to achieve three objectives, which usually is two to go towards unlocking a chest and one to unlock a key to allow you to move onto the next area. For each level you complete, you only have to unlock the key to get to the next area; so if you do a level where the key is the reward for the first objective, you can technically move on straight away. Of course, if you’re going to play a bullethell, you’re going to go the full way. It’s a rather good shooter and the controls feel tight. It’s entertaining and it’s a real nice throwback to shooters of the past.
As always, we love to show off how games look, so you can judge it for yourself. The game looks great, with an excellent cartoony feel to it. The characters have some fantastic designs and the in-game models look brilliant. The soldiers look like little dots, which you sort of expect considering you’re in a helicopter. There are missiles, tanks and more in the game, all of which look great. Better still, the bosses look like bosses, standing out clearly from the rest of the units in the game.
The audio of Rocking Pilot is pretty good – There’s not too much that I can say about it, as it’s just a really rather good. It’s a typical rock-inspired soundtrack, which really gets you pumped up for the levels ahead. Other than the music, the sound effects are generally pretty good, although if I had to critique anything, it would be that I kind of expected some voice acting when it came down to the characters talking through the story. But this is such a nitpick that it’s not really a down – Just a “nice to have”. If the devs read this; there’s something to consider as a nice to have in future! Anyway – The audio in the game sounds good!
The last time we reviewed a bullethell on here, we checked out Steredenn – this time, we’ve played something a lot more like Geometry Wars, with Rocking Pilot. I can see the influences it was going for, including Metal Slug for the allies. This isn’t the sort of game that you’ll invest hours upon hours of your life into, but instead you’ll likely end up playing a fair bit, leave it, then come back to it again. The concept of it is good, the execution is great and ultimately, this is the type of game you’d play in an arcade! It’s an interesting little bullethell and it’s not all that expensive to get; so if you’d like to get your hands on a copy, go jump over to Steam now and get yourself a copy… Or… You can enter our free competition for one of our two free copies of the game! All you have to do is answer the below question in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter.
What bullethell game did the virus ‘Rensenware‘ force you to play?
Entries to this competition will close June 25th at 12:00 GMT!