Have you ever done a double take? I’m sure we all have, at one point or another. I certainly did when I saw the name ‘Drunken Robot Pornography’.
My initial though was ‘is this something the editor found down the arse-end of the internet’. My second? ‘Whoops i’ve just set off my office’s internet filter by Googling it’…
So, odd name aside, what is DRP? Well… in a word, the one i’d pick is ‘hard’.
This game is ‘throw your mouse out of the window’ hard. The kind of difficulty one gets from knowing you can achieve the goal – but not without two-dozen attempts, and a long-term study of boss behaviour.
Aside from this punishing difficulty, DRP is a horribly beautiful mess of psychedelic nonsense, intermixed with a jetpack, legions of multi-coloured robots and a possible psychotic breakdown.
Ostensibly a ‘bullet-hell’-style shooter, DRP puts you in the space-boots of bar owner Reuben Natsumoto, as he battls hundreds of drones, giant Titan-class bosses and several mechanised ‘centrefolds’ he accidentally created after he gave his robot bartender sentience.
And that’s about it for story. Moving on.
Essentially, DRP is a first-personshooter which relies on the player using speed and dexterity to avoid the endless bullets, beams and bombs your foes throw at you, while also challenging you to strategically destroy enemies one after another.
This all takes place in a psychedelically re-imagined city of Boston which seems to be made entirely of neon lights – and is likely to give you a migraine if you play for long enough.
The combination of speed, beautifully esoteric art design and difficultly should make for an ideal ‘bullet hell’ shooter, but for one thing – it’s in first person.
Taking on one of the larger Titan-class robots is where the game starts to fall apart. While taking the enemy apart is as easy as shooting the glowing bits in sequence, it’s a lot harder to do when so much firepower is coming at you.
Sure, avoiding the stuff coming from in front of you is easy enough (understatement of the year, there), but since it’s in first person you obviously can’t see behind you. And this is a deal-breaker.
Shot in the back
Since the arenas of DRP are so big, and the player character so mobile, more often than not enemies that spawn behind you can gun you down with impunity, despite how many of their seemingly endless number you’ve demolished in your front arc of vision.
The game’s punishing difficulty aside, keeping moving is the only way you’e going to survive in DRP when so much enemy firepower is coming from behind you – so the thrill of gunning down a centrefold while bouncing from jump pad to jump pad can be crushed instantly when a tiny drone shoots you in the back, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
With such an unforgiving challenge ahead of you, getting blasted from behind wrecks the fun.
This is a great shame, as DRP really is a lot of fun. Its fast pace and addictive nature should appeal to any gamer who enjoys a challenge, and though you’re gifted with only one gun (which can be powered up, intriguingly), the blasting is made all the better with the high mobility and beautifully unhinged graphics.
That the developers have made it quite so unfairly difficult is a shame. I can understand the need to make a game a challenge, but surely this shouldn’t be at the expense of the fun to be had for the gamer.
A little more gameplay time can be found in the game’s included ‘Giant Robot Construction Kit’, which allows you to build both bosses and arenas to battle through, but the same issue pops up once again – the wrong viewing angle.
Overall, Drunken Robot Pornography’s stunning art style and challenging, well designed arenas should be a lot of fun blast through (if frustrating at times). However, getting shot in the back and killed gets old fast, and though the high speed nature of the action keeps things thrilling – and it’s always tempting to hit respawn – the game is simply too hard at points, and can quickly become a grind from which it struggles to recover.
Article comissioned by 6aming.com