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Playstation 2












T (Teen)



Q2 2003



- Lots of exploration

- Handy eye-piece

- Great voice acting



- Plain visuals

- Too many fetch quests

- Poor targeting system

- The eye-piece options are clunky to sift through



Review: Jedi Knight II (PC)

Review: Shinobi (Playstation 2)

Review: Metroid Prime (Gamecube)



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RTX Red Rock

Score: 6/10

Sometimes more frustrating than a poorly implemented game is the knowledge that with a few nips and tucks to the implementation the game could have been quite good.  Such is the case with RTX Red Rock.  With well designed levels, and a multi-purpose eye-piece for the game’s main character, there could have been a lot of fun to be had in this game, but unfortunately RTX is riddled with countless tedious fetch quests and a sketchy enemy lock-on system that seriously drags down the enjoyment of the game.  

rtx-red-rock-1.jpg (54810 bytes)         rtx-red-rock-2.jpg (47481 bytes)

RTX takes place in the not too terribly far off future where humans are more technologically advance and have colonized Mars.  Now these colonists are under attack by an alien race, known as the LED and it’s up to a special forces member, one E.Z. Wheeler, to come out of rehab (having been injured in an attempt to rescue one of his comrades in an accident) and send these aggressors packing.  The plot itself isn’t going to turn a lot of heads, but the character interaction is quite engaging between Wheeler and the other characters in the game, especially since the voice acting is surprisingly well done.





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The way the levels are setup is easily the high-point of the game, as the various installations are all sprawling with tons of passages available to navigate them.  The level of exploration available is a joy compared to a lot of the far more straight and narrow level design in other games where you must go down very defined paths with very little deviation.  There’s so many nooks and crannies in RTX that it makes for a real challenge to track down all the secret areas 


scattered throughout the game.  The maps for the levels are also thankfully well done, with very little confusion as to where the corridors, air ducts, and service hatches go.

One area that is hit and miss is the eye-piece Wheeler has.  On the one hand it adds some depth to the game in that its various functions (thermal scan, electro scan, bio scan, and nav scan- a.k.a. the map), but on the other it obscures the usual in-game HUD right from the inventory selector to vital info like Wheeler’s health and oxygen supply.  Even more frustrating is that cycling through them is very cumbersome, either scrolling through them one at a time in a predefined order, or constantly having to go in and out of using the ocular implant, then digging through the slightly less cumbersome, but no less annoying inventory system (another system that requires too much time consuming cycling to get the item you need).

The greatest downfall of RTX is the ceaseless cavalcade of fetch quests riddled throughout.  Wheeler is constantly having to run around reactivating devices, and finding items to help him get passed obstacles in the game.  Every now and then this may be fine, but here it is just too much.  It doesn’t take long to get bored of and want to go off and do something else.  I would suggest more twitch play, shootouts, but then you’d just be forced to suffer through the sketchy lock-on system of the game that much more, an already aggravating experience as you’re forced to scramble and try to connect your shots to your desired enemy, resigned to the fact that you will have to hope the gaming gods allow you to shoot the enemies you want.

rtx-red-rock-3.jpg (42064 bytes)          rtx-red-rock-4.jpg (39434 bytes)

The presentation is also very ho-hum.  The visuals lack any sort of spark, as the environments feel very plain and the character designs are very uninspired, having a generic sensibility.  The LED just don’t make you want to fear them, or at least tread lightly when they’re near to look at them.  All players will think is, “*Sigh*, another one of these guys to blast.”  Wheeler and associates are particularly uninteresting to behold, looking a lot like something one might expect from a cheap-o value game rushed out the door with very low production values.  The music too won’t do much to get players’ toes tapping, with non-descript music that you wouldn’t even know was there unless you made a conscious effort to listen for it.  Topped off with functional, but plain sound effects, the look and feel of RTX certainly won’t knock gamers on their collective ass.

And all of these problems really go to wear down the player, making for a lack luster experience that will almost certainly condemn RTX to the bargain bin.  It’s too bad, though, because the game could have actually been pretty fun with a little bit of refinement.

Mr. Nash

July 13, 2003

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