- Robocop: Rogue City captures the joy of classic Halo better than any modern Halo game, with satisfying gunplay and a reminiscent game feel.
- The game modernizes the classic Halo formula by implementing a two-weapons-only system and a smart healing mechanic, adding strategic depth to gameplay.
- The ability to grab and throw enemies in melee combat is a missed opportunity in Halo: Infinite, making Robocop: Rogue City a better choice for fans of old-school Halo.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big defender of licensed games, going as far as to praise PlayStation Plus for loading its catalog with licensed kids’ games, so from the first whisper of Robocop: Rogue City, it had my attention. And even as a defender of licensed games, Rogue City’s instantly satisfying “game feel” was far beyond what I expected. Just check it out for yourself:
I admit I find it pretty funny how myself and others are praising the gunplay of a 2023 Robocop game that came out around a week before this year’s Call Of Duty, a game that’s being roasted for apparently the worst story campaign in the series’ history. However, I’m not much of a CoD person, so my honest thoughts were how this 2023 Robocop game does a better job at capturing the joy of classic Halo than any modern Halo has.
Reinvention vs. Modernization
Classic Halo has a feeling that modern Halo doesn’t achieve. Each entry released under 343 feels like it wants to reinvent the wheel, actively avoiding what made Halo unique and instead trying to redefine it.
Yet Robocop: Rogue City does feel like a modern version of classic Halo. An instant example is that the two-weapons-only system is here, but Robocop must have his iconic machine pistol from the movies. That pistol can be upgraded, while every gun you pick up for the secondary slot has a situational use, such as how the AK47 is the best counter for heavily armored goons, not unlike needing to switch between UNSC and Covenant weapons depending on whether you’re fighting a basic Grunt or a high-ranking Elite. Current Halo lacks these decisions, there are just too many guns that all feel overpowered, making them mostly obsolete and uninteresting.
The way Rogue City handles healing also feels like a genuine modernizing of Halo. In Halo: Combat Evolved, Chief’s shields recharged when you stopped taking damage, but you still had a health pool that you needed a medkit to replenish. In Rogue City, you pick up OCP Recovery Charges and you use them when you need to, but you can also recharge just by hiding. The amount Robo naturally recharges is slim, so you have to constantly look at your health and decide whether it’s best to hide or pop your small supply of Charges.
Quite frankly, I think this juggling of recharging health and health pick-ups works better than Halo: CE’s attempt. It’s forgiving, yet tactical.
Melee sees a few tricks I’d love Halo to use, specifically that Robocop can grab and throw entire enemies. This is something I wanted in Halo: Infinite. It makes total sense for Master Chief’s new grappling hook to be strong enough to lift and throw Grunts, but he can’t do that somehow. The Brutes can, and now that Robocop can, it feels even more like a missed opportunity.
The punching, the movement—there’s just so much about Robocop: Rogue City that captures Halo’s finest hours. It’s so weird to say that if you miss old-school Halo, you’re better off with the 2023 Robocop game than you are with Halo: Infinite. I never even finished Infinite’s campaign, but I’m champing at the bit to see the end of Rogue City.
RoboCop: Rogue City
- November 2, 2023