Patrolman Alex Murphy was killed on the streets of Detroit. The major corporation there, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) saw an opportunity to sell a new kind of law enforcement officer to the troubled city. They took what was left of Murphy, encased it in titanium armor, wiped his memory and created RoboCop. Now it's up to RoboCop to clean the streets of Detroit and eliminate the one responsible for his murder, Clarence Boddicker. But it looks like Clarence might not be the kingpin of this town...Based on the 1987 movie of the same name, RoboCop allows the player to control RoboCop. The majority of the game is a side scroller. RoboCop can punch unarmed citizens and shoot armed citizens. He can move left, right and duck but can not jump. Different weapons can be picked up from enemies, and power-ups to restore health and/or energy. Following levels, RoboCop will have to match a criminal's face to the proper mugshot and engage in a first-person shooting bonus round.
RoboCop. Part man. Part machine. All EGA.
Objectively, RoboCop is a mediocre platform shooter for it's time with a sci-fi storyline. Its story telling formula is much like Shinobi, Double Dragon, or any number of other themed story games of the era. Play a level, beat a boss, get a part of the story and repeat this process until end. If you like that sort of thing, or just like futuristic storylines about cyborg heroes, RoboCop may be your game.
The other aspect of RoboCop is that it is a video game based on a movie. Video games based on existing franchises tend to get a bad rap, but with good reason. Most of the time translation of a movie into a game means distorting the original material to fit existing game types causing the result to be nit-picked to death by “that never happened” naysayers, or the source material is kept true with the game play suffering tremendously. In the worst case scenario you get ET for the Atari 2600 in which case both game play and story are sacrificed upon the altar of the evil god Makeabuck. I understand those who were caught off guard and paid money for that game are known in official records only as “victims.”
So it happened that RoboCop the game was received with a lukewarm welcome. Sure, RoboCop seemed the perfect candidate for a transplant to video games, but that's failed before too. (Anyone remember TRON?) However, as it turns out, RoboCop actually had two things going for it. First, as has mentioned before, a futuristic action flick staring a gun toting cyborg cop is perfect for a video game. Second, much of the audience the game was marketed towards, that is early teenage males, hadn't actually seen the movie because it's ‘R' rating barred them entrance. Sure they could sneak in, but that happened a lot less than we like to remember.
So, excited by previews but unsated, the RoboCop game had to only deliver 2 things to be successful: action, and characters from the movie seen in the previews. Did the game deliver? Yes it did.
Now for the bad news. RoboCop is incredibly difficult owing in no small part to the fact that Murphy's cybernetic parts didn't include a leg upgrade. RoboCop moves pretty slow and jumps pretty poorly. Dodging bullets takes a lot of practice and a dash of ESP. Beating a boss usually entails taking a beating yourself, but as long as you have a shred of life left you'll be full at the start of the next level. Fighting bosses, especially the first, entails getting in a position you can hit them before they get on screen and hitting your fire button faster than they do. But if you can make your lives last you get to pick up cool weapons upgrades including my personal favorite, the fireball launcher.
In short, clunky controls, beeps and boops for sound, but a decent translation of a movie to a game for the time, I say RoboCop is good for a look and give it 3.
Tech note - Choose the Tandy sound option or the game will lock up DOSBox. If you want to actually hear this game's sound you'll need to change the config file for DOSBox so that "tandy=true" under the speaker option.
Robocop, like Jungle Book, takes its name from its smash hit film.
You play the role of 'Murphy', who was killed on duty by a vicious street gang. Although this doesn't seem good, for OCP, the higher level police force in Detroit, it was a great opportunity to test out their latest ideas and turn them into a creation. Unfortunately for OCP their couldn't completely wipe Robocop's memory clean and now he is in search of his killers, for whom he wants his vengeance!
One of the great things in the game are the weapons, you have a vast selection to choose from, which makes it great as certain weapons work better at certain times. If you're a fan of the film this game is a must-try, as it goes practically step by step through the different scenes of the film, from the guys on the motor cycles, to the hostage scenes.
Although to be completely honest, the graphics are nothing too look at, it's a pity the PC version only came out in CGA, where as an EGA version would have been much more enjoyable. The arcade and even Amiga conversions were much better than the PC remake, which unfortunately, apart from die-hard fans of Robocop I don't think very many people would play more than a few times. Also the control's are really awkward, as they are the old base (Q,A,O,P) movements, which are not as good as the arrows in my opinion.
None the less, this game is worth a try by all means. Download and enjoy!
Data East's RoboCop is a decent PC port of a fun coin-op game, not to be confused with OCEAN's horrible CGA port released earlier. -This release, while still pales besides the Amiga and Atari ST versions which are near-perfect conversions of the arcade original, is at least on par with many other Data East releases.
There are some similarities with the OCEAN version, such as the fact that you only have 3 lives in the game, and extra lives are hard to come by. In all other respects, though, this Data East release is much more faithful to the arcade hit, meaning that it's a lot more fun to play. The controls are intuitive, although it's still difficult to shoot diagonally or evade enemy fire, and RoboCop has only a limited number of moves and weapons. These gripes are valid for the original coin-op version as well, however, and by and large don't detract much from the fun. In the absolute sense, RoboCop isn't Data East's best, but is definitely above average. And if you're a fan of the arcade original, *this* is the version you should play.
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