Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: Vatra Games
Pub: Konami
Release: March 29, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood, Language, Violence

Another big disappointment with Ex-Patriot comes from what initially appear to be significant design similarities with Epic's MetroidVania-ish title Shadow Complex. Don't let Vatra's use of 2D exploration deceive you—this is nothing like Jason Fleming's adventure, and just because the environments you traverse are big enough to use a map doesn't mean you'll actually need to (read: you won't). Players hoping for even a dash of non-linearity will be letdown, because the progression in Ex-Patriot is as straightforward as it gets, making any extra of hidden paths you find to various locations feel more like wasted level design window dressing rather than much of anything significant or useful. To add further insult to injury, the game's three chapters divide the levels up, so once you're finished with a section, there's no going back. To be fair, the game offers a modicum of entertainment seeing what sorts of environments you end up going through, as well as mindlessly taking out a bunch of baddies. Some of the weapons you can pick up (good for only a few rounds before it's back to your knife) are also fun, though largely you'll feel like you're just going through the motions.

Rush N' Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot

When it comes down to it, though, Ex-Patriot just feels unpolished and perhaps even unfinished. Cutscenes are mix of sparse, lazy motion-comics (a recent annoyance whose frequency in games is starting to grate heavily on my nerves) and horrible, near PS2-era pantomimes, with comic bubble text and sporadic but equally annoying squawks from c-rate voice actors. Animations are sloppy, making Morrow and your Soviet foes feel as though made of plastic, particularly during combat. More than once I ran into bugs that stuck me between a wall and an attacking enemy, and even had the game outright freeze on me in one instance. The finicky platforming often suffers from too-precise interaction points, meaning that grabbing a ledge requires more use of forward momentum than it should (seriously, why can't Morrow just grab an overhang from directly underneath it?), though jumping itself feels and controls with a good degree of precision. Even the blood is unnaturally cartoony and bright red, lending a certain cheap quality to Ex-Patriot's proceedings.

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At least the game looks decent. It's not going to blow you away by any means, but Vatra's dank, rusty corridors, suffused with moody lighting and steam or fog effects make for some nice visuals in places, even if the Russians themselves resemble cartoon robots (or caricatured Helghast). This is pretty ho-hum though, and really, what's the point of playing a game where the enemies are still thoroughly convinced that it's 1986?

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.2
Graphics
Close-ups reveal the game's warts (and horrible character modeling) but there are some nice dilapidated environments that make you feel the economic squeeze that eventually befell the Soviet Union.
2.3
Control
Morrow controls fine for the most part, but combat is a button-mashing bore and grabbing ledges is unnecessarily obtuse.
1.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The grisly sound of stabbing a guard repeatedly in the back (or my personal favorite, slashing their legs) is nice, but the voice acting is awful (why even have it when everything is in text?), and I don't even remember hearing the music.
2.5
Play Value
You may have a modicum of fun clambering around and slashing guards, but Rush N' Attack: Ex Patriot is a cheap, tepid re-visitation to a game that wasn't all that memorable to begin with.
2.4
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Fight behind enemy lines to rescue your team in this sequel to Rush N' Attack.
  • Perform stealth kills by getting the drop on your enemies.
  • Explore environments to discover secrets and pick up extra items.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge Rush N’ Attack: Ex-Patriot Screenshot - click to enlarge

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