Publisher: Valve Software
Developer: Recoil Games
Release Date: 11/15/2011
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In Rochard, you play John Rochard, a miner on the mega-corporation space program Skyrig. Your team hasn’t found anything in a long time and is about to get their project funding cut when they come upon something strange. This just so happens to be some weird alien artifact, but the story pretty much stops there. You find out there’s a bad guy, then you run off to stop him. That’s as far as the story goes and it’s completely forgettable and uninteresting. The ending doesn’t even make any sense. Rochard also has unwieldy controls and terrible dialog.
You get one weapon, but this is also your gravity gun, or G-lifter, that you can use to move stuff around. You can switch to your rock laser which is like a gun, then you have grenades. Things seem pretty easy for a while, then when you get 3/4 through, the game gets really tough to combat-wise. The controls are not fun because the game requires you to use this G-lifter in combat as well. If you have 3 bad guys, 2 robots, and 2 turrets shooting at you it leaves you pretty much screwed because you can die in just a few hits in this game. If there’s a heavy crate nearby just turn on zero-gravity to move it in front of you as cover. This completely sucks because you have to switch to the G-lifter and be completely vulnerable. You can shoot grenades at any time but you have to aim them.
The G-lifter is mainly used for puzzles that require you to move circuit breakers around, boxes, and laser cutters. Very rarely are the puzzles challenging, but when they are you really have to think. Sometimes you are flipping the room up and down, using gravity, and jumping skills. The rest of the game is usually a breeze if you aren’t getting killed 20 times by the same set of bad guys. The main challenge is figuring out how to get through different force fields because these are what the puzzles are wrapped around. Blue ones mean you can’t put crates through them, red means you can go through, white means nothing can go through, and yellow means weapons can’t go through. Remembering all this is important, but in the end, the puzzles are pretty uninteresting.
Jumping around the world of Rochard is pretty boring thanks to the terrible story, bad dialog, and unlikable characters. They are cheesy, corny, and just overall bad. There are only a few interesting moments in Rochard, but the overall game is a decent puzzle/platform run. If you can stomach the bad controls, poor combat mechanics, and lame story then you will have a few hours of fun here.