What would you do if some guy murdered your brother? Most people would go to the police, maybe get angry on TV. Nae for Rick Paradis, the protagonist of early access Riskers, who decides to turn the city into a murder-bowl.
Riskers describes itself as an open-world, top-down action game, similar to early GTAs but with the fast-paced melee & shooting mechanics of Hotline Miami. And similar it is, with a map that takes a lot of inspiration from GTA 1 and 2 — a city of roads snaking around, even the overhead signs that are so reminiscent of those early cult classics.
Working as a driver of a communal garbage truck in The Big Smoke, you one day come upon a briefcase which has been secretly stashed in a dumpster. Rather than trashing it you take it home, unaware of the chaos that will follow Later that evening you return home to find the briefcase gone, and your brother murdered,and, as with every protagonist who has a brother killed in the first act, you decide to go on a pleasant killing spree as to get your revenge.
Throughout Riskers, you hunt down and kill mobsters and their goons, drive and dash around the big city, and participate in illegal street races. The whole game is top down, and the shooting is, well fair enough – guns have believable enough representations of recoil in regards to aiming, and the bystanders and goons AI is good enough. Sadly, currently at least, most of these mechanics are not implemented well. You walk incredibly slowly, even when running, cars handle like tonka trucks and when vaulting over small objects, the button to start the manoeuvre simply changes animation state, but doesn’t pass you over the object – meaning you can just hang out in the middle, mid-vault, for as long as you wish.
Now, none of these are game breaking, or even that bad on there own, but together it just doesn’t mesh right. It’s like a cake, all the ingredients are there and mixed in, it just needs a bit longer in the oven. That’s entirely what I recommend for Riskers, a few more dev cycles, some more player feedback as it grows – if it does that then it will gain a well deserved following.
Nevertheless, Riskers is a pretty decent game so far. Along with all the base mechanics, there are a few places it really does shines. The level design is actually pretty good, and the levels are populated with a surprisingly diverse set of NPC’s. One tiny little feature that made the whole game memorable for me was the water – seems to be in a rather rainy spot, and as such it’s always damp with puddles everywhere. Surprise be to me when running through them that they splashed. For the next ten minutes, all I did was run through puddles, just like a big toddler.
And that’s where Riskers is. An early alpha (V0.8.0.1) of an interesting game that just needs more time. While I cannot recommend it now, I hope and believe that It will end up a pretty darn good game. Definitely one to watch.