The first thing you need to know about Rico is that there is going to be zero story to follow after the initial introduction. Rico starts off by letting you know that upfront and that this title is all about taking down the kingpin. You can go it alone (which I do not recommend) or you can tag team this bad boy with a friend. The game has local split screen and online Co-op which I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Co-op function worked. As the cop or cops tasked to take down the big boss you will need to get your hands a little dirty. With that I mean by shooting a ton of bad guys.
Developer Ground shatter provides you with all the tools you will need to succeed in your work. There is a nice variety of guns from pistols, shotguns, and assault weapons. You will be able to obtain a new weapon after each mission if you have saved up enough merit points. The merit points will allow you to purchase new weapons, attachments, grenades, revives and even med kits. As the game progresses you can unlock weapon skins and traits for your character. The weapon skins are a neat addition (even if I didn’t pay attention to them all that much) but the traits come in handy. With the traits you can achieve better aim or damage with them, make sure to keep an eye out to see which ones have become available.
The one thing that should stand out immediately in this FPS game is the graphics. The comic book art style is cool and if you are in Co-op it obviously looks awesome seeing your partner run around. The game does fall short though because other than your characters the rest feels a tad bland. The enemies appear great at first but then you start to notice that they are the same enemy wave after wave. Then there are the places such as apartments, construction sites and office buildings that feel very plain as well. That is a little let down seeing how things like gunfire, explosions, sliding through doors (Yes you can slide through doors in slo-mo) and the slowing effect all look pretty solid.
The sounds of the game do not suffer as much as some of the visuals. Kicking in doors, hearing bad guys scream and gunfire all sound well put together. Let’s face it that is why you are here if you’re playing this game. Kicking in doors and having intense gun fights is what it’s about. That isn’t all you must do though in order to be the top notch cop. As you fight bad guys you must clear the room before moving forward in the building. You will come across evidence that you must collect or bombs that you will need to defuse. Even better is when there are several bombs to defuse and only a small amount of time to find them. There will also be assets that you need to destroy. Warning though doing this will call in reinforcements and then things can get real hectic. Of course once you complete all the objectives the reinforcements come for you anyways. That is the signal that it is time to leave the building. Doing so will end the mission but you can end the mission at any time you like. Stopping in the middle of the mission will fail that mission but it is better than the alternative. If you die in a mission it is game over and you must start from the beginning.
What about the controls though? Glad you asked. Here you might need a little adjusting period to get use to the very responsive controls. I had to go in to the settings and turn down the sensitivity it was so responsive. That isn’t a bad thing for this game though as you will need to react quickly in some situations. There isn’t much else to the controls. This FPS is basically point and shoot or you can just hip fire if you so choose. Kicking in a door is a simple one button push and most items you can walk by and pick it up. Sliding through doors is simple and opening briefcases is again a one button mash. Once you get the motion of the game down everything else is easy.
Rico also offers other game modes like lockdown where you try to survive wave after wave of bad guys. It gets really tough especially if you go it alone. There are also daily objectives you can do or compete in game modes to get try and get the highest score possible. This is essentially breach and clear as fast as possible. It is fun and adds a more frantic approach to the game. These modes are a nice addition and a needed one at that. While Rico provides you with a fun FPS game it lacks from variety. The missions start to feel repetitive and the same bad guy models over and over again only add to the problem. Playing on single player can get frustrating as well as the slow motion after kicking in each door becomes very annoying. It was a blast the first fifteen times it happened, after that not so much. Fortunately in Co-op mode it doesn’t happen as often. Single player will definitely give you more of a challenge if that is what you are looking for in this game. With that said, if Rico didn’t have multiplayer I’m afraid it would have lost me a lot sooner.
Rico is a fast pace FPS that isn’t going to provide you with a lot of bells and whistles. You get a nice variety of weapons and things such as traits and weapons skins are a likeable addition. The graphics at first glance appear awesome but as the game goes on you realize that just isn’t the case. It was a letdown seeing the same settings even though procedurally generated over and over again. Then there are the same bad guy models lumped together running at you. This hurt the game. Nobody wants to see the same two characters running towards you screaming the same thing. It isn’t all bad with Rico though. Kicking in doors to meet a room full of gun toting baddies is a blast. Seriously, at times it feels like a crazy mess and that is when it is at its best. The explosions and debris flying about the room will give you great satisfaction. The online Co-op works great and is definitely fun with a friend. The lack of story is made known upfront so it isn’t a big issue but it would have been cool to see just a little more. The voiceover in the beginning was actually done well. With a little more attention to detail and variety this game could have stayed in my rotation. Rico is what it says it is and for some that might be enough.
Rating: 7 out 10