Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of playing a game called Rock of Ages. I had owned it for a very long time but had never played beyond a few levels because I had found it fun but I wanted to commit to it. When I did complete the game, which was very fun, I was surprised to find that a sequel was being released shortly. Fast forward to the end of August, and it’s finally here! If you’re familiar with the first game and looking for the short review here it is: go play this game. It’s everything the first one is, but better. For those wanting a bit more, read on!
Rock of Ages 2 (and the original) are games where you roll a giant boulder into the door of your opponents castle, trying to break it down. These rocks take time to carve, and so you’ll spend the time between by building structures to protect your door. Things like giant walls, cannons and hot air balloon bears. Yes, bears suspended from balloons are a thing and give a short glimpse into how weird the game can be. All the art assets are using classic works of art, cut into “paper dolls” so they can be animated. The levels are all inspired by various forms of artwork from Dali to Van Gogh and while you roll around classic pieces of music play along side. The entire thing feels like a Monty Python animation and it helps since the game has a very similar sense of humor.
To keep things fresh, the game also has boss battles. Usually requiring you to hit a specific point on a giant foe ranging from Michelangelo’s “David” to a giant kraken, these are designed to keep things interesting. All these levels, the regular ones and boss battles, are on a map which is a departure from the first game. You’re able to complete levels in a less linear order in this game and you won’t have to collect hard to get “stars” from the levels. Instead beating each level on a different difficulty level grants you stars, which you use to unlock the boss fights.
On a technical level, the game is running on Unreal and stretches across hardware quite well. I’ve tried it on an integrated video card, an APU and a high end desktop and you would be hard pressed to have a computer made in the last 15 years that can’t run the game. The sound and graphics aren’t going to stress anything and so you should also have a smooth frame rate the entire time. The game supports controllers and while I found PS4 and 360 controllers to be comfortable, my Steam controller was not. The mouse and keyboard control method was what I found most comfortable but everyone should be able to play comfortably.
The game does support multiplayer, replacing the AI with another player. Having played a few matches I can honestly say it doesn’t hold much appeal to me, because I enjoy playing the game as more of an action-puzzle type and going up against another player feels less like a puzzle and more like a strategy game. It was still quite fun and the ability to customize a bit of your profile was nice but limited. I had no problems finding a match on Steam and I have no doubt it’ll be the same on other platforms.
At the end of the day, Rock of Ages 2 is a game that is significantly better than the game that came before and one that I feel most people would enjoy playing. The game isn’t expensive and lasts about 6 hours, unless you’re trying to unlock everything or if you find yourself having fun with multiplayer. I highly recommend checking the game out on the platform of your choice (well if your choice is Steam, PS4 or Xbox One) and picking it up if you feel interested.