Sworn enemies of the biker mice
While a developer’s natural instinct when conceiving a game about bikers who take on a horde of dangerous robots in an alternate 1940s America might be to make it a fully 3D racing title or similar, Tate Multimedia instead opted to create a side-scroller. An odd choice? Perhaps. But it’s one that absolutely pays off in spades. Steel Rats promises high-speed action, but to start with you’ll be pretty slow as you stop and start, trying to master the controls. Thankfully it isn’t a punishing game, and even when you start you’ll be able to get through levels, you’ll just do it at a crawl. The controls are odd but they certainly make sense. Though it’s a side-scroller Steel Rats doesn’t just exist on a left-to-right plane; you change lanes on the road with a flick of the stick. Couple that with the ability to turn with the push of a button and you’re soon chaining together stunts and attacks while weaving your wheelie way
Your bike gives you some special abilities. Most importantly, you can turn the front wheel into a spinning ball of energy, which is useful for attacks and allows it to attach to metal surfaces, so you can ride up and down walls to cut through levels. This verticality makes Steel Rats feel distinct from other vehicle-based games. This is a game of simple pleasures. Crash through robots, ride super fast, and look really damn cool doing it. We can’t wait to rev up our engine for another go.
Format PS4, XO, PC Publisher Tate Multimedia Developer Tate Multimedia ETA Autumn The developer calls the world of Steel Rats ‘dieselpunk’ – an alternate version of the 1920s-40s with crazy tech.