I remember the first time I saw Rampage. It was the C64 conversion, somewhere in the late eighties (when else?).
At first I wasn't impressed at all. Graphics and sound were quite average, backgrounds flat and uninspiring. But mainly I didn't understand what it was all about. I was moving around this ugly beast not really knowing what was I supposed to do.
I couldn't help but find Rampage for C64 a little sad-looking
But when I finally got that I was the bad guy, that my purpose was to destroy everything Godzilla-style, and eating innocent passersby was a good thing (even somehow required, years before Carmageddon), then something clicked. I was enthralled. It became one of my favourite C64 multiplayer games. Because playing it with a friend was the way to go: you could play cooperatively, you could play one against the other, you could switch mode any time you wanted. It was pure fun.
Some 10 years later, here comes this sequel. I admit to never playing it before 2016. My bad. Because, as its predecessor, it is fun.
George, Lizzie, and Ralph are back and are really pissed at Scumlab (and at the entire world, it would seem). So here it begins their destructive quest around the globe, to bring nightmares to every civil engineer that ever lived.
The first thing I noticed is that the cities are more recognizable than in the previous game. Several landmarks such as the Big Ben or The Edinburgh castle are yours to destroy (yay!). It may look like a trivial detail, but having levels that all looked the same was the big letdown of the first game.
George, this is Ben. Ben, George.
Then I noticed (and appreciated) the black humour that is pretty much everywhere. Let me give you an example. Should you happen to notice some bystanders wearing nun or priest clothes, that's because they are nuns and priests. And before you ask, yes you can eat them. But if you do, prepare yourself to be incinerated by a god-sent lightning bolt. I admit to laughing out pretty loud for a couple of minutes when I saw this one.
To eat or not to eat? George looks a litte conflicted
You could argue that there's really nothing new to the gameplay compared to the first game, even if 10 years has passed and videogame industry evolved a lot in the meantime. I reply saying that the game already had all the gameplay it needed, it just called for some (technical) polishing and finishing touches. And that's what it got.
Now I see why the guys at scumlab are a little distracted
So, two thumbs up for this sequel. It has the same easy and fun gameplay, twisted black humor and kaiju appeal as the predecessor, with more polished looks and sound.
After all, nothing beats destroying a city after a long day of meaningless work at the office. Even better if you do that with an arcade stick. I just bought one to use with MAME, and believe me when I say that it changes everything. I think I'll write a post on the subject anytime soon. Forget the pad, go for the stick.