Our Rating: 8/10
Grand Theft Auto had humble beginnings before becoming the vast million dollars series that it is today. GTA was already available on the first PlayStation, albeit the story was considerably different at the time; with the perspective being the most noticeable difference. Today, we’ll speak about Rustler, a game that pays homage to the initial Rockstar adventures while seeing them through a medieval lens. What might we anticipate from the title?
As previously stated, Rustler transports us to the Middle Ages and places us in the shoes of Guy, a bully. Our main goal in the game will be to enter (and win) a tournament that is due to take place in the kingdom because the reward is quite lucrative. However, only nobility members can register. To participate, our character will be thrust into a bizarre plot; including a slew of minor characters, action, a lot of references, and, most importantly, a lot of humor.
Some characters appear in the main plot. Others will appear in the side missions. It ranges from a document forger to a masked vigilante. A herbalist dedicated to drug trafficking, the Spanish Holy Inquisition, or even the Knights of the Holy Grail. They are only a few of the many things we will encounter. They should suffice to give you an idea of the wide range of scenarios in which we will find ourselves. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you much more.
At the playable level, we find ourselves in a small open world divided into two differentiated areas. We can freely move and carry out various missions and activities or even cause havoc. Also, be aware that some of these missions are a little repetitive and the game is well aware of this.
The controls resemble a twin-stick shooter. The left stick driving the character and the right stick directing your gaze. We’ll have a trigger to attack, another to conceal ourselves, a button to get on any horse or cart we see, to interact with specific individuals and items. One more is also button dedicated to farting and belching, which comes straight from GTA 2.
While some elements remind us of other games, inspiration is vital. From Duke Nukem’s “Hail to the King” to moments and objects from the Worms franchise, inspiration is key. I also see some fleeting resemblances to Souls, such as the stamina that depletes after each attack.
It’s a full-fledged GTA, with an open environment. Missions enable us to choose and even face them, and even supplementary missions that we may insert whenever we want. Even the game’s presentation of weapons and goods, missions, vehicles, and even the game’s HUD is reminiscent of the Rockstar story.
With witty parodies, double meanings, gags about drug use and sex, violence, and more, the game also emanates a fairly crazy sense of humor. One important thing to remember! If you easily find things offensive, this isn’t the game for you.
Rustler is a visually appealing game. The lighting effects and camera give the impression that we are always in front of a model; with some blurring at the edges of the screen and in specific sections, which suits the user well. Furthermore, the game contains a zone around the protagonist in which the level objects are rendered (practically) invisible, ensuring that we never lose sight of him.
Characters, objects, and environments are all well-recreated within the confines of the game’s selected point of view, even if camera angles change from time to time to make the action flow more smoothly. Furthermore, when speaking, the characters have some fairly interesting portraits that, despite the evident recycling of certain assets, give them all personality. We also have the option of adjusting the amount of blood that is displayed.
Although there is no dubbing, the characters’ voices are audible. The sound effects are taken care of, and the music… well, it works well and sets the scene when it plays, but that only happens if we approach a bard or hire him, after which he will accompany us across the world.
It takes about 8 hours to complete all of the main and secondary missions; roughly half of the extra activities, and the search for nearly all of the collectibles in my case. There are a few glitches linked to a certain mission, but as the story developed, we tried the mission again and were able to complete it without issue.
Rustler is quite conscious of its status as a “clone” of the original Grand Theft Auto. It does not attempt to re-invent anything. Despite this, it proposes incredibly funny situations and shocks me more than I thought, thanks to its sense of humor.
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