Robocop (Ocean) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Ocean
Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #71


Since its release just before Christmas time, Robocop has cleaned up, becoming the biggest selling computer game on all formats ever. The one version that remained unreleased until now was the Amiga, but that looks set to boost sales still further.

The success of the licence clearly has as much to do with the cult status of the film as the quality of the conversions. Robomania looks set to last a long time with a sequel (scripted by Frank Miller) already in the pipeline. It may not be Batman, but it's probably the next best thing.

As a game, Robocop provides little more than the standard horizontal beat-'em-up that can be found in any number of titles. What turns it into an impressive piece of software is its depth and execution.

The game consists of around a dozen sequences broken up into levels. A scrolling section is followed by an interlude which breaks up the play and gives the impression of some diversity. Thus between making his way from riot-torn streets, through junk yards and drug factories. Robo has to practise his shooting skills at the range before using them on a perp holding a hostage, or identifying a suspect.

The action is busy and challenging. As you make your way through the levels, Robo can grab extra ammunition and weapons by breaking open packing cases. Probably the most crucial are the tins of baby food. Robo's penchant for these, assuming they're not full of glass, will replenish his energy. Even with these though, the game still remains very tough.

There are enhancements over the ST version, most obviously to the sound with several samples from the film. As the game loads Robocop can be heard reciting his code to "serve the community, protect the innocent and uphold the law", elsewhere there's the odd "thank you for your co-operation", although this, and some of the spot effects could be beefier. The tune too could have been netter. It still remains too much a port over to justify the extra five pound price tag.

Graphically, the game disappoints on one major point. The promise of a full-screen layout hasn't materialised and there's still that annoying border cramping the look. Otherwise the graphics look adequate without ever being impressive - car wrecks in the junk yards look like the blocks they are rather than the irregular shapes they should be. More attention to detail would have been nice.

Robocop will succeed, as it has done on every other format. Compared to these, its quality is more than good enough, but I can't help voicing some of the disappointment that others will feel when they see this. It could have been superb.

Mike Pattenden

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