Konami’s classic arcade game Rush’n Attack gets an HD facelift on your Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but the game still plays very much like its 1985 predecessor. Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot may give you a 2.5D action-platformer experience, but play it for a while and you’ll realize how flat the gameplay really is.
Rush’n Attack: Ex Patriot has you controlling a special ops sergeant named Sid Morrow whose mission is to rescue his captive team of stealth soldiers while sabotaging Russian military plans. The game takes place during the Cold War and your primary weapon is a huge knife that lets you slice and dice your way through enemy facilities. The gameplay is pretty straightforward and you will receive objectives as you make your way through each level such as killing guards for their keys or finding switches to deactivate traps. Basically, you just need to make your way to the end of each stage and not die.
This wouldn’t be a problem if only the game would give you something else to do in the meantime. Sure, there are boss fights after main level, but they don’t seem to save the game from the trap of repetition. Hanging on a ledge and slicing the legs of the unsuspecting guard above you may seem fun the first few times you do it, but having to do it every few seconds gets boring. It doesn’t help that the guards make hilarious gagging noises each time they die either.
When you’re not hanging off ledges to kill people, you will be using your knife to pull off combos. You’ll unlock combos the more you kill people, but they’re not as fluid or as “combo-y” as you might think. If you want to be stealthy, you can surprise guards from behind and pull of sneak attacks that take them down in one hit. You can also pick up occasional weapons from guards like RPGs and snipers. The game’s 2.5D gameplay elements let you hide in shadowy rooms in the background. Hiding in these rooms, the ceilings, or pits in the floor lets you surprise enemy soldiers as they walk by. Stealth attacks are fun and they sure beat engaging in rigid hand-to-hand combat.
Using the Unreal Engine 3, the Ex-Patriot’s environments have great shading and rendering, giving it a tone suitable to that of a stealth game. The only issue I found with the physics is that sometimes when you kill an enemy, he will go flying in a crazy direction with strange animations or shake uncontrollably. The game’s soundtrack isn’t memorable either, and sometimes you will strain your hearing trying to find any beat to it at all. It’s also really disappointing the game has no voice acting (except in the opening and ending credits) because you’ll have to sit through unneeded speech balloon cut-scenes that are painful to read and detract from the game’s action. It also doesn’t help that the font is hard to read.
Finishing the game will take you about three to four hours depending on the difficulty. You’ll also be able to use items such as gas mask and night vision goggles to make your way through some areas, but these don’t add much to the gameplay except nice visuals. When it comes down to it, Rush’n Attack Ex-Patriot is a mediocre action-platformer that won’t win any awards in innovation and provides you with what other titles have done better.
A copy of Rush’N Attack: Ex-Patriot for Xbox 360 was provided to us for this review from Konami.