Based twenty six years later following the events of Konami's classic title Rush'n Attack, we are back to finish the job and get our team home safely in the xbox live arcade title, Rush'n Attack: Ex Patriot. In the game you play as Sgt. Morrow, an American Special Agent on a secret mission organized by the CIA (we could tell you what it is, but then we'd have to kill you). Fearing that the Russians may have also re-initiated the missile program you are also responsible for re-evaluating and taking care of the possible threat, however, before you set out on this dangerous plight, there are a few things that we need to let you know first. Xbox Addict wants to give you the lowdown on what you can expect as we review Rush'n Attack: Ex Patriot.
The graphics for this xbox live arcade title are about as good as you can expect for a 2D side scroller utilizing Epic's Unreal Engine. The layout of each chapter is monotonous but still very detailed right down to the lighting. The outdoor areas and scenery are definitely this games' strong point when it comes to graphics, but expect to get a little bored because there isn't a whole lot of it to see. If you've never experienced deja vu, be prepared, because some of the indoor areas make you feel as though you've been there before.
Moving on to game play, you can expect to find some elements that take you back to the original Rush'n Attack but also there are some new and exciting things introduced as well, like stealth kills and the ability to unlock kill combos. You are rewarded greatly for being stealthy, so sneaking up behind your enemy and snapping his neck, or hanging from a ledge and tossing him off will reward you with more points, but before you run out and spend your Microsoft points you must also be aware that the game is a little unbalanced.
A colossal annoyance with this game would be the checkpoint system. Since checkpoints are few and far between and if you die, your progress throughout the level will be erased forcing you back to the original checkpoint. Jumping can be a little tricky when trying to make your way across a pool filled with toxic sludge, or jumping from platform to platform but hey, practice makes perfect.
Throughout your mission you will encounter armed enemies that you can kill and pick up their weapon to assist you, but bare in mind the weapons are temporary and you will drop them once used up. Some of the weapons we've come across are rocket launchers, assault rifles and flame throwers but that's not all you will find because scattered throughout each chapter are grenades, mobile turrets and maybe an anti-tank mine or two. While all of these things are limited, you can always count on one thing, your primary weapon which is a very large... knife? (Crocodile Dundee would LOVE this game).
The audio experience while playing this game can only be described as repetitive and boring. There is very little to hear in terms of background music, if you can even call it that. It's very quiet to the point that it makes you wonder why it's even there. The sound effects, which are quite the opposite are a little to loud are somewhat realistic but tend to get annoying after a while (I mean how many times do you really want to hear your target gasping for air as you pierce him in the throat)? So aside from the occasional grenade explosion, or assault rifle being fired there isn't much else in the way of sound or music. You don't have much control over the sound except for the option to turn the music on or off which for this game there might as well not be any since you can't hear it unless your tv is so unbelievably loud that your neighbors get scared and call the police because it sounds like you are murdering someone in your living room!
Overall Rush'n Attack: Ex Patriot, despite its flaws (poor audio, platforming and overall game play), kept me coming back for more as the story progressed. It is definitely worth the 800 Microsoft points especially if you are a fan of the 1985 original Rush'n Attack. So what are you waiting for Wolf Spider, grab your bowie knife and get going. Rory Gibson is waiting.