Show of hands for those of you who have played Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken. Anyone? Ok, let's try this again: show of hands for those of you who have heard of Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken? The silence in the room goes a long of way showing why the announcement of Rocketbirds 2: Evolution on the PlayStation 4was barely heard or covered by most of the gaming press. In the wake of the PlayStation 4 reveal in February, Gamasutra questioned many independent developers who were said to be working with Sony. Of these developers, Ratloop not only responded that they were supporting the PlayStation 4 but were already working on a game at that very moment. The president of Ratloop, Sian Yue Tan, stated “"We've been working on Rocketbirds 2: Evolution for the PS4 since we received the kits last month,” so at this point, development has been ongoing for about three months. While the game is obviously a sequel to the first Rocketbirds, the biggest question isn't what the sequel holds, it's “What is Rocketbirds anyways?”
The official website of the game describes the premise best:
“Set out on a mission to assassinate the totalitarian penguin leader as Hardboiled Chicken. Destroy enemies with a slew of weapons and illuminate the secrets to his past while uncovering the real enemies of Albatropolis. Master fowl play in the co-op campaign as a pair of Budgie commandos on a mission to save the general’s daughter. Many lives will be destroyed, countless penguins will die!”
As you can tell, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is not a game that takes itself seriously. The game is a 2D run and gun in a similar style to Contra and Metal Slug; older gamers who are fans of classic arcade gameplay will find a lot to love in Rocketbirds. Unlike those games, Rocketbirds enables you to do more than move and shoot: you can roll, use items, climb ledges and more. In fact, the only thing you can't do is shoot at an angle, similar to games such as Bionic Commando and Mega Man. The game also features a break from the shooting with some light puzzle elements and some aerial combat; after all, it wouldn't be right to have a name such as Rocketbirds without some sort of aerial combat.
Where Rocketbirds excels is in its story, featuring witty one-liners and outlandish scenarios that match its crazy premise nicely. Additionally, it's stylized 2D graphics with an emphasis on the gore set Rocketbirds apart from the crowd visually. The aforementioned co-op enables you to share the joy with a friend and the game features an array of collectibles to find as well. While Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken won't be winning any Game of the Year awards anytime soon, it's a great game for fans of a classic genre. Since its initial release on the PlayStation 3, the game has been ported to both the PC and the Vita.
It's no surprise given the decent reviews of the original that Rocketbirds 2 will be back but this time on the PlayStation 4. Information is scarce but what we do know, thanks to the Official PlayStation Blog, is that the game will be running on the PhyreEngine 3.5, a modified version of the PhyreEngine that the original Rocketbirds was created on. Sian Yue Tan states “We are currently working on “Rocketbirds 2 Evolution” and our work and experience with PhyreEngine puts us in a pretty good position to try and get this onto the PS4.” By working with an engine they are already familiar with, the developers at Ratloop can concentrate on making Rocketbirds 2 bigger and better rather than relearning the ropes of a new engine.
While no story or gameplay details have been shown about the game, a special trailer in the Vita edition of Rocketbirds gives us our first glimpse at a new enemy in Rocketbirds 2: trans-dimensional space owls. These owls take their cues from the sci-fi genre, especially Star Wars, enabling the developers to integrate new gameplay features that make sense within the story. While the first Rocketbirds was somewhat grounded in reality, Rocketbirds 2 can aim for the stars!
No new information about Rocketbirds 2 was unveiled at E3 2013, leading some to believe the game may never see the light of day. While Sony concentrated largely on indie titles during their conference and on the show floor, Rocketbirds 2 was not mentioned by either Sony or the developers themselves. We have dug deep for information and it seems Ratloop Asia, the developer behind Rocketbirds 2, was not even on-hand at E3 2013, which is worrisome. Is Rocketbirds 2 vaporware? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: it definitely won't be available at the PS4's launch.
If you missed out on Rocketbirds the first time around, here is your chance to jump into the series when Rockbirds 2 eventually flies onto the PS4. We'll be chicken on the status of this game constantly at PS4 Experts to bring you new information as soon as it hatches.
Game Category: Indie
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 4/8/2013