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EGX 2018: Hands-On with RICO

Bursting through doors and shooting up fools is the order of the day in Ground Shatter's latest.

RICO is one game that’s been on our radar for a while. Since myself and Sean fell a little bit in love with Ground Shatter’s previous game SkyScrappers we’ve been chomping at the bit waiting for any kind of news that would signal their return.

It’s safe to say we weren’t expecting the makers of SkyScrappers to come back with an arcade FPS action game where you breach every single door you come across and shoot up every single person inside. Still, the surprise only was met with excitement and this year at EGX we finally got our chance to have a go.

Ground Shatter’s head honcho James Parker kindly allowed us a quick peek at a demo on the Switch – the game is also due everywhere else – and it’s safe to say our expectations were very much met. The FPS exploration felt right at home on the handheld hybrid, so it’s safe to say it’s going to feel just as solid on PS4 and PC. The demo we played placed in a map which had a variety of different rooms to breach, all full to the brim with enemies that are ready and waiting to get deaded by the hand of your pistols. It certainly wasn’t easy at first, a little more time with the game will hopefully ensure I can get the mechanic down to a fine art but I was certainly getting blasted pretty hard once I had the controls down. As you explore the rooms you’ll also have objectives which you’ll need to complete such as picking up stolen cash. You can’t move on until you’ve mowed down everyone in your path so you need to make sure your trigger finger is set to kill mode.

With a concept as intriguing as building an experience around the slow-motion breaching mechanic, something that never gets old in Call of Duty, it’s going to be interesting to see how the game develops from the small section we played. I’ve got absolute faith in Ground Shatter to ensure the whole experience allows for different tactics the further you move on, particularly in the sense that as you tear through each level you’re definitely not short on ammo, so it’ll be interesting to see just how you can get the jump on your enemies before they get a chance to shoot back. Stealth is not particularly the order of the day but just going in guns blazing may work in the early levels, I’m curious to see how the game differentiates the mechanic as the game continues.

RICO is definitely a game I’m going to pick up upon release, not least because of my admiration for the developer but with the online co-op functionality it looks like a riot to play together. I’ve no doubt Sean and I will be blasting through it together as often as possible. And with the promise of randomly generated cases, environments and operations, there’s going to be plenty to get through.

Bring on the release, which James’ shared was hoping to be early 2019.

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