Robocop: Rogue City isn’t always smooth sailing, but its wit, action and variety will keep winning you over

When I was blocked from entering a warehouse doorway because it went against the Directive then my partner busted through anyway, I knew Teyon had nailed the tone of Robocop.

Shortly after, I also knew exactly the kind of game I was getting into when she – Lewis – ended up getting locked in position, stuck in my way, and prevented me from progressing forward with the story, forcing a restart.

Rogue City is far from perfect. It’s pretty rough at times, actually, but it’s absolutely on brand, the dialogue and storytelling is full of vintage Alex Murphy charm, and the shooting is as brutal and satisfying as a classic 90s FPS.

In fact, that’s a great point of comparison to draw this against. It’s less like the big budget releases of today – Immortals of Aveum, Cyberpunk 2077, DOOM Eternal – and more of a Kingpin: Life of Crime, Duke Nukem and even the OG Aliens vs Predator.

It’s such a breath of fresh air, actually. It keeps the game simple, effective, but sustaining enough that you’ll want to stick around between the weapon variations, optional missions, lengthy, story-driven campaign, and the mechanics and abilities that do just enough to keep it all entertaining.

Murphy’s personality is able to shine the entire time, between his quips in between gunfights and going around the precinct, getting staff to sign a Get Well Card while doing desk duty and getting towels for his fellow officers who just jumped out of the shower.

It’s probably a bit more Robocop the Series than Robocop the films, but regardless, Teyon have just totally understood the assignment here. They’ve clearly studied the franchise deeply, recreated our titanium-clad hero in perfect detail and even made the player feel like they’re in Murphy shoes. Quite literally, because you’re slow, you can’t just hop fences or jump over railings and your run is the equivalent of most shooters’ walk.

I mean, they even got Peter Weller back to do the voice acting, talk about doing it right. He has not missed a beat.

That’s probably the most interesting ingredient in all of this. Sure, we have some fun with Robocop in this game, but there’s a few moments in the story where he questions who and what he is. Part Man. Part Machine. Is there any trace of Murphy in there? Does a human element factor into his decision making? And what does that do in certain situations?

For example, there are conversational choices you can make that actually impact the way characters react to you. We’re not talking Telltale levels of detail here, of course, but it does at least keep things different and interesting. And it enables you to really lean into that character and be part of some of the game’s more memorable moments.

It makes for one of the best, most authentic recreations of an iconic character in a video game I can remember. And as a result, it just makes the product feel special. Different. Stand out. And all the more enjoyable for it. This is how you do a licensed game, something that’s become a bit of a lost art over the years.

I’d even go as far as to say this is the best Robocop game since…well…maybe even the original on the C64 and Spectrum. And there’s even some call-backs to that with hostage situations where you have to aim just right and take the enemy down with a headshot while they hide behind a civilian.

As for the story itself, it’s an all new adventure for Robo, set between films 2 and 3 and once again in the iconic, Old Detroit. With some familiar faces and an all-new enemy and crime wave to fight against, you really get to experience a day in the life of Robocop, through some tough mis-matches, technological faults and psychological profiling in ways you may not expect.

Teyon have done a good job of blending some of these elements into the story telling, making sure this isn’t just about gunning down criminals and making arrests. There’s a wider angle at play and it will involve friends and it will hit close to home. This one really goes out of its way to surprise you.

And truly, that’s the impression I had coming out of this one. I really enjoyed Rogue City. Yes, the shootouts do get a bit repetitive at times, particularly when you go from semi-open world environments to suddenly being boxed into small, familiar-looking facilities and confrontations playing out the same way.

But it never got old punching through brick walls, grabbing a goon by the scruff of the neck and throwing them at a wall, knocking them out cold. Or ripping enemies to shreds with auto rifles.

There’s elements of the game I wish were more interactive, such as the driving that’s all but confined to cut-scenes, and I wished certain ideas introduced into the game had been explored in a bit more detail, like parking tickets or looking out for more minor offenses as a side objective.

There are times when the game’s oversimplification does go to its own detriment, such as just reducing you to finding the same incriminating evidence and the slow burn nature of the XP gathering which makes this more of a chore than a fun side activity.

And as mentioned, the game does get a little buggy and glitchy at times, though it’s more of a Bethesda style glitching that often results in hilarity, like a death pose that sees enemies fold up like a pretzel. Or get locked in a certain random animation for no apparent reason.

But Rogue City just keeps winning you over through its base level of charm, the variety it manages to offer, the ease of getting into things and the enjoyment you can have while playing. 2023 had one last big surprise for us and it’s the resurgence of a 1980s action hero who just wants to do his job. Fortunately, it’s something he does quite well.


Robocop: Rogue City is one of this year’s biggest and best surprises. It’s not always perfect and things are scaled back a bit too much in some cases, but the witty quips, all-out gun fights, variety in mechanics and objectives, and surprising human element of the story, once again acted by the brilliant Peter Weller, really wins you over again and again. This game actually makes you feel like Robocop in the best possible way by showing great respect to both player and license, resulting in not only the best Robocop game since the original but a brilliant throwback to the golden era of FPS. 


+ You really feel like Robocop
+ Great action and some fun setpieces.
+ Surprising story with choices, great humour and a real human element, expertly acted by Peter Weller and co.
+ Nice variety of mechanics and objectives to keep things interesting


– Random bugs and glitches take you out of the experience
– Repetition in gun battles can grate after a while
– The world is scaled back just a little bit too much in some cases.

Robocop: Rogue City is out in early access from today. It launches in full on November 2 for PC, Xbox and PlayStation 

Code Kindly Provided by Nacon for review purposes

Played on PlayStation 5

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