Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

Imagine: America, 40 years old, on the radio they report an alien invasion, the inhabitants run out into the streets in a panic and see that this is not another radio show of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, but a real attack by some kind of alien robots – something like what we saw in NieR: Automata. And the only ones who can really resist them at least somehow are four bikers from the Steel Rats gang.

Also imagine a mixture of Trials and Elasto Mania, only with some of the artistic techniques from Inside added, with a story and in a noir-tinged retro-futurism style. Now you have a rough idea of ​​what Steel Rats are.

Machines against machines

There are four bikers, but we control only one on the screen at a time, freely switching between them. We rush forward-backward, up-down, we jump from springboards, accelerating and driving a motorcycle in the air, we land, we rush further, cutting with circular saws mounted on the front wheel, crowds of garbage robots (as alien invaders are called here), as well as various obstacles – skeletons machines, pipes and other fittings.

Each of the Fab Four has a couple of unique fighting moves. Someone on the go catches enemies with a harpoon, someone hits them sharply with the front wheel, activating an explosive wave, someone shoots opponents with the help of a garbage robot pet, and the girl Lisa fries the piece of iron with a flame from the exhaust pipes. There are also charged skills – mini-bombs, a fire trail, and so on.

Finally, a super move is available to everyone, which is charged and activated when the bikers quickly spin around their axis and release a wave of fire, a shower of laser beams, or several harpoons in all directions at once. By the way, with such a turn around you, you can also beat off bombs fired at you.

Steel Rats game review

Fighting the “bosses” here is easier than twisting tricks, trying to get out of somewhere along the walls and ceilings.

biker for pumping

As you can see, our heroes differ only, so to speak, in their fighting style – there are no unique abilities that help in overcoming obstacles, as, for example, in The Lost Vikings. Therefore, the choice of who to play for is a matter of taste. Well, or a vital necessity – if one of the bikers runs out of health, then he leaves the game until the end of the mission.

All combat techniques, as well as passive perks that increase health and energy reserves, the speed of rotation of a circular saw, reduce lightning damage, and so on, can be opened and upgraded for scrap metal, which drops out of defeated (or rather, cut) garbage bots and broken metal structures. For him, we buy new “skins” for bikes and their drivers.

How do they do it?

However, combat moves and leveling are not the main thing in Steel Rats. The main thing is speed, adrenaline and tricks. It was not without reason that I remembered Trials and Elasto Mania at the beginning: here, too, you can and should very carefully control a motorcycle racing at high speed, avoiding obstacles in time, jumping, making jerks and flips right in the air, turning sharply 180 degrees, and also making dizzying somersaults .

And the main feature is the ability to race, entrenched with circular saws, along special metal sections that run along the walls and ceiling. So we reach new waypoints, moving up and down the levels in order to get out, for example, from the bottom of a destroyed mine or from some other insurmountable place. The camera follows the player very closely as they dash upside down on the ceiling, move to the wall, then go down and up again. Already breathtaking!

Steel Rats game review

Are you dizzy too?

break your fingers

It turns out a circus with iron horses. Here we are rushing at great speed, maneuvering between trains, here we are chasing along vertical walls and ceilings, here we are trying to get out of a burning building, here we are jumping down from structures collapsing under the wheels as quickly and as quickly as possible so as not to fall under a huge metal press that is quickly descending.

Add here battles with “bosses”, traps and simple, but still riddles, when we, having attached the rear wheel to special points, raise elevators, start generators or turn on something somewhere. The fantasy of the authors also works at high speed – we are constantly thrown up with interesting situations.

Naturally, management at the same time, to put it mildly, cannot be called simple – especially from the keyboard. Perhaps, I have not seen any other game where you need to use so many buttons at the same time at a frantic pace. Different keys are responsible for accelerating and decelerating, for changing direction, for circular saws, for a sharp turn, for one combat skill, for another, for shooting – yes, yes, you can still pick up cartridges and just shoot at enemies … Therefore, it’s better Of course, you can play with a gamepad, but you get used to the keyboard with due diligence and desire – the ongoing madness is worth it!

Steel Rats game review

Here it is, a circus with iron horses!

***

All this is complemented by a beautiful picture, peppy music, great design, retrofuturism (and even with a touch of noir!), brilliant angles and plans, when, for example, a small biker rushes along the bridge against the backdrop of the silhouettes of a night city or a huge monster rising from somewhere ( here just remembered Inside). And the plot. Yes, he does not always keep up with such speeds, remaining somewhere in the background, but still he tries to intrigue with his unusual presentation in the spirit of an investigation with answers to the questions of a pretty detective girl, and gorgeous videos between chapters that reveal the background of what is happening. Yes, and the characters themselves are pleasing – they constantly comment on something funny, demonstrating different characters. The result is a near-perfect ode to speed and the bike, stylish in every way, from artistic riding to the exterior. Well, as for the control – well, this is also the perfect reason to finally buy a gamepad …

Pros: full of adrenaline gameplay, mixed with speed, battles and stunts; bright characters; great videos; music; external decoration.

Cons: keyboard controls are very confusing.

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