Hey gang, Valkor here. When it comes to the indie scene, for film, it took some adjusting because I was all about the Hollywood polish – everything had to look good or else I wasn’t interested. That was until I started dabbling into indie films (thanks to TOV) and I began to appreciate the effort that went into them – I mean even the bad ones still deserve some credit. Now, when it comes to indie games, I’ve been there since my first Pc; and that trend continues even today as I’ll jump on an indie title before I go after a triple A (Unless it’s that Final Fantasy 7 remake – I’m all over that). With that in mind, let’s dive right into this next title – Cyborg Rage from the folks at Ragiva Games.
"Cyborg Rage" puts you at the helm of one of any number of ships as you tackle an onslaught of cyborg crafts gone haywire. Thankfully you’re not alone as the game is all about multiplayer; you can either bring along a friend for some online co-op or use the matchmaking option to find someone who matches your skill set. There’s also a single-player option that uses a computer AI as your assist. For controls you’ll need a three-button mouse, which you’ll use to guide your ship across the screen; your ship will have two bars – the top bar is your shield and the bottom is your life. If both bars are depleted then you’re out. However if your buddy or AI is still onscreen then you’ll respawn in about ten seconds.
Your basic attack is an auto-fire that kicks in once the enemy is nearby. If things get too intense your ship – any ship - will have three different options that you’ll need to learn when to use them in order to effectively make it onto the next stage. Take for instance your starter craft, which uses the left mouse button as a burst attack, the center as an EMP and the right mouse button to quickly refuel your shield. If your next ship doesn’t have a refuel option, no worries as your shield will automatically refuel itself after a few seconds. You’re also limited with the use of your optional weapons as they take time to recharge. And the bar at the top of the screen will help you keep track in percentages when you're back up to speed – some will recharge faster than others.
While "Cyborg Rage" might look like an arcade shooter, the fact that it doesn’t have a scoreboard or additional power-ups says otherwise. It’s all about survival with this title and if you’re gonna make it to the end then you’ll need to use all of your wits and cunnings.
"Cyborg Rage" is a pretty decent shooter that’s very easy to get into; while I haven’t been able to delve into the multiplayer aspect… yet, the single player campaign works just fine. And though I have some issues with the controls (more on that in a bit), using the mouse to maneuver my ship wasn’t as painful as I’d thought it would be. The ship glides fairly well across the screen and taking out the baddies was just as seamless as if I was using a controller (at times). Graphically, there’s nothing here to write home about, but what’s given is just “OK”, with decent animation on the ships as well as a few animated details in the backdrops. The sound is the most impressive aspect of the title, with crystal clear voice that drops hints on how to use your button controls as well as continuing the story. And the music, while repetitive, is pretty smooth and fits the title perfectly; I’m not gonna lie… I’m in love with that techno beat. In the end, Cyborg Rage isn’t all the rage that I’m used to, but for a quick burst of action, it’ll do the trick just fine.
My first issue with "Cyborg Rage" is the controls, or rather maneuvering your ship; if you glide too quickly, your ship will lag behind as it tries to catch up with the cursor, which can get messy when the screen is filled with enemies and enemy fire. Also, if you hang back too far to the left the ship tends to stall for a second, which again, can cost you valuable energy when faced with a barrage of baddies. So, in this instance, I’d much rather use a controller for better maneuverability than a mouse. My final objection falls under the save feature, which the game states uses a screen name to save your place. I’ve played the title a number of times and on occasion I had to start from the beginning with the single player, even though I’ve only used one name “valkor” (with the lowercase). Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since I’m used to many arcade style shooters starting over. But there were moments when the function did work and it did save my place, only to log back in and… well its back to the beginning.
Cyborg Rage is available now through Steam for the mere price of five bucks. And that’s not bad considering you get a fairly decent shooter out of the deal. So, while I have my objections, I still had fun with Cyborg Rage, which gets a 2.5 out of TOV 5 stars.