Rochard – Demo Impressions

There was a song in the demo that made use of synthesizers really well. It evoked discovery.

Rochard is a recently released platformer that includes puzzle solving revolving around gravity. With the aid of his G-Lifter, John Rochard can pick up and shoot objects. As John Rochard I was also able to affect the level of gravity around me, utilizing low gravity for many things. I played the demo for Rochard and got a feeling for the game’s story and gameplay.

John is an astro-miner for Skyrig Corporation. He leads an unproductive team, the least productive within the company in fact. The demo opened up with John returning to his team. This intro video featured a cool bluesy song while John was flying back. The soundtrack was actually composed by Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen, which if you’re like me doesn’t ring a bell, but he is a member of the popular Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall.

Once he landed, I gained control of him. I could only walk to the left and the right meaning Rochard is a strictly side-scrolling game. However the areas I played through had a lot of depth; everything looked nice too. The character’s were cartoon-like and the garments they wore, like the stages, had depth; I could notice John’s vest rising over the rest of his clothes. The dialogue was funny; it garnered a chuckle from me whenever John first ran into enemies. Another star to add to Rochard’s credits is Jon St. John providing John’s voice. Jon St. John is probably best known for being the voice of Duke Nukem.

Knowing where my object would land when I shot it was super helpful.

During the demo the crew made a great discovery, one that pleased Skyrig’s president very much. The demo never told me what I had found, but I suspect it’s related to ancient aliens as per the game’s website. The following day, a group of bandits breaks in and begins wreaking havoc. But John wasn’t defenseless.

John has a G-Lifter and this factored into everything I did. Using the G-Lifter was simple. After picking up an object, it stayed in my G-Lifter’s beam. I could aim with the right analog stick and a series of arrows would appear showing me the trajectory my object would travel.

By picking up crates I could use them as a shield and a weapon against my foes. More importantly, I needed the G-Lifter to solve a handful of physics-based puzzles. Tying into many of the puzzles was John’s ability to trigger low gravity. About halfway through the demo I reached a gravity generator, once I fixed it I could trigger low gravity whenever I wanted by pressing L1 or L2, I forget. I had to manipulate gravity from here on out and I came across at least one puzzle that had me stumped for a couple of minutes.

I got an upgrade for the G-Lifter that allowed it to shoot bullets. Very helpful.

The story seemed lighthearted and the graphics were pleasing. The gameplay is where Rochard shined though. The mechanics were simple to grasp and fun to implement in the puzzles. I hope the difficulty amps up slightly over the course of the game. But for ten bucks it seems like a good deal. Rochard is the first game developed by Finnish game developer Recoil Games. It was released on PlayStation Network last week, published by Sony Online Entertainment.

Links:

Rochard
Recoil Games
Sony Online Entertainment

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