RoboCop: Rogue City feels like a game trying too hard to emulate the experience of its inspirations. Having played a few hours of the game at a preview event, I’m a bit conflicted regarding how I feel about the upcoming sci-fi first-person shooter. Rogue City captures the look and sounds and overall feel of the first two RoboCop movies exceptionally well, but by sticking so close to the general vibe of those movies, it creates several moments that aren’t very fun to play. It has good voice acting and some intriguing RPG-inspired elements working in its favor, though.

In Rogue City, you play as Old Detroit cop Alex Murphy, who, after being fatally wounded, is rebuilt as a cyborg called RoboCop. Armed with enhanced strength and durability, advanced scanning technology, and other cutting-edge tools, you’re tasked with bringing lethal justice to the growing criminal element of the city. After a hostage situation leaves you partially damaged, however, you begin to remember your old life and the wife you once had, causing you to accidentally hesitate in a dangerous situation. With your higher-ups wary of your mental state and the general public unsure if you can be trusted, you have to figure out how to proceed forward case-to-case to earn that faith back, all the while shaping the future of Old Detroit. You can punish every crime with aggressive force, for example, or take the time to resolve things more amicably.

This game emulates the visuals, sounds, and just the general vibe of the original RoboCop and its 1990 sequel–the two best entries in the franchise–very well. Much like Alien Isolation or Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Rogue City feels genuine to the storyline of its respective franchise, recapturing the aesthetic and then squeezing a brand-new story into a familiar narrative framework. Rogue City obviously differs from games like Alien Isolation or Fallen Order by not tackling its world from the perspective of a never-before-seen main character. This does mean–at least at first glance from the few hours I played–Rogue City sometimes feels a little too close to the original RoboCop movies. Those movies already explored themes of control and free will through the lens of Alex Murphy, leaving Rogue City feeling like it’s retreading old ground. It’s too soon to make a definitive call on the full storyline, but I am worried that the efforts to keep Rogue City faithful to the vision of the original movies may result in the story ultimately feeling “been there, done that.”

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