When Rochard came out back in November of 2011, I was the one lucky enough to get it to review. Even though it has been over a year, I still remembered the game fondly and was more than happy to give the game another play with the release of the new “Hard Times” DLC pack. In researching the DLC, I found out that it was made in response to some fans complaints which put forth that Rochard, though a fun and engaging game, was just a little “too easy.” The title of this DLC pack, “Hard Times”, refers to the insane difficulty and strategy that these new levels represent – so, instead of just another visit with the old cast in some new adventures, I knew I was going to find myself struggling to complete five levels. Thanks a lot fellow fans… 😉
Rochard features a modest hero, nefarious villains, big explosions, even bigger stunts and hilarious one-liners. The game allows players to change gravity at will to solve environmental puzzles and advance through each level. By using the main tool of the game, the upgradable G-Lifter, players can lift and maneuver boxes and heavy objects around the environment and can eventually swing, jump and propel themselves huge distances throughout each level.
John Rochard, leader of the lowest producing team of astro-miners the Skyrig Corporation ever employed, accidentally discovers an ancient alien structure hidden deep in an asteroid, thus proving mankind isn’t alone in the universe. Soon afterwards, John’s team goes missing without a trace and he finds himself stranded on the asteroid and under attack by space bandits. John quickly realizes that dangerous forces are at work, determined to use the discovery for their own sinister means…
- 5 long Chapters crammed with fast-paced platforming action and mind-bending puzzles based on gravity
- A beautifully crafted cartoonish visual style, rich with humor and personality
- Incredible items able to influence gravity and grab, swing and throw objects to solve puzzles or get rid of enemies
- A groovy soundtrack composed by Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen from Poets of the Fall, mixing southern rock/blues and 80′s inspired electronic music
- The legendary performance of Jon St. John as the voice of protagonist John Rochard
- The most advanced use of the Unity engine in a videogame
The new content includes four new, incredibly challenging puzzle levels: ‘Container Chaos’, ‘Shaft Shuffle’, ‘Brainyard’ and ‘Assembly Line’ – all of which are designed to use the existing game mechanics, with an emphasis on puzzle-solving as opposed to combat, and offers a difficult test for even the most experienced players.
They decided to really, really make this game hard as hell just because of you super fans! I would get through one room, get all excited (maybe a little smug, thinking “this can’t stop me”) then the next room stops me for almost an hour. Now, complain as I might, this isn’t a bad thing, this is what super fans of a game like this want! They thrive on sitting in a game at one side of the room trying to figure out how the heck to make it to the other side. It’s addictive, and the “one more try at it” attitude it created took what was supposed to be half hour gaming session and turned it into an “uh oh, the sun is coming up” one. When I saw it had only four levels, I was figuring a quick evening play. Thankfully, there are lots of checkpoints in the new rooms, but they are usually located after more than one of the brain teasers. If one of the brain teasers is lethal or unsolvable after making a mistake, going back is the only way.
Another boon of this DLC is the fact that you have to use just about every game mechanic from the base game, often one right after the other or even more than one at once. So, if one of your favorite parts was, say, the trapeze (it always makes me feel like a super version of Pitfall Harry) you can spend extra time playing around on them in the challenge that involves them before solving the puzzle. I had to do a refresher look at the controls at one point because I had forgotten a couple and I knew there was something else needed to solve that room, this DLC uses every control at one point or another.
Hard Times is for hardcore players of Rochard who felt the game was a little too easy or just want to revisit the game in a very hard way. When you think you are doing great and being clever, that is when you realize that the developers just wanted you to feel that good feeling for a brief moment before they beat you over the head with a puzzle so hard it almost causes cerebral hemorrhaging (actually, I think my brain may be bleeding now). If you are one of the people who like the puzzles harder the better or just love Rochard enough to let it give you a hard time, this is definitely the game for you.
[easyreview title=”Rochard ‘Hard Times’ DLC Pack Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”3″] Our Rating Scores Explained