Review: 'Riskers' (PC)

Review: 'Riskers' (PC) INDIE DB

Top down view games are always a little bit weird. Despite Hotline Miami, early GTA and others using them, to some, it's hard to get used to. Obviously they're easy to make because animations are much simpler, and they can be easier to play because things like cover and turning to shoot are obvious and quick to do. But it can also get a bit samey and repetitive since there's only so much innovation to put in. So, in 2017, when Riskers made a new top down, how did it do with all of these things going for and against it? Well...

You are Rick Paradis, garbage man. When you find a suitcase of money, and then have it taken by extreme force, you're forced to go out and find who did it. I'm being vague because of a few spoilers, but that's the gist. The story isn't too bad. I mean, revenge is always one of the best story motivators, and true to form, it does evolve beyond that. It's not original, but it entertains. The setting of a big city (Stillton City – not the best name) helps too.

Graphics were a mix of early top-down GTA, and more modern top-down shooters. Some parts are good – the lighting is great on everything from traffic lights to cars, feeling a bit noir-ish and hazy that fits right in with the game. But it also tends to look cheap in some areas where things like lighting are ignored completely and it looks like something was simply pasted in there. Riskers also copy/pastes a LOT of scenery and people. Usually this is fine – hell, all games do this. But it's especially noticeable here. Some high points, but a lot more work could have helped.

Gameplay is typical top-down – moving around awkwardly, injuring people awkwardly – it only ever gets good in driving parts, and even then it requires some degree of skill to not die every time even a small chase happens. It's like early GTA, except with weirder walking around. There's also cut scenes that help with figuring out who people are through still art, but these aren't much better.

Controls were pretty great. Being off steam, it uses the typical WASD controls, along with arrows and other keys. It's not bad, but like a lot else in the game, yo wished for more. Something needed buttons and some things didn't. Entering a car proved hard even in the first level, as when I tried to enter, it wouldn't work for a bit. It wasn't my computer either – the controls were simply acting up. So, they were OK, but a little more care would have helped.

The music and sound are pretty damn good. It was like a modern synthesizer, like if the Miami Vice Soundtrack was a teensy bit refined. It was all instrumental, but was toned down and felt a bit futuristic. Not quite techno, not quite synthesizer, but with a smooth city beat, with flourishes that sounded like either action movie lull or chase scene bits. It was great. Sound works too – a lot of car horns and walking sounds. No one talks except for text boxes on the screen, but the game throws everything else in. Really, really good.

Besides that control glitch, there were a few more hiccups in terms of things going wrong. One glitch was that, when you turned, sometimes the character became stuck looking one way, but still moved wherever you you WASD'd to, so it looks like he was sidestepping or walking backwards In places despite going forward. Frame rate also wasn't the best, as I it seemed to always be in the process of loading, even though it never loaded, and seemed a split second behind what you wanted it to do.

If you're looking for more style, Riskers is great. But be aware it misses several marks. You can forgive some of these while playing, and I did, but a few parts seemed like a bit much. Still, I managed to have fun, and it left me wanting the soundtrack. Not the best game, but it does have enough redeemable parts to make up for the faults. Although, not by much.

Final Score: 6.5 our of 10

This game was provided for the purpose of review.

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