Rico Review (Switch)
First Person shooters are rare on the Nintendo Switch. There are some true greats like Doom and Wolfenstein II. There is Paladins if your looking for an arena shooter, then there’s the fun of getting a whole crew together to play Payday 2. Sure, Payday 2 is a glitchy mess that was abandoned by its devs but it was a blast with a good group of friends. Rico fills a niche that needed filling, a co-op shooter on this platform. Rico is a great add to the system with its mix of FPS action and rogue-like format.
I bring up Payday 2 because Rico plays very similar. It’s not a direct copy, but it will feel familiar if you played Payday. This time you’re on the opposite side of the law, but don’t worry, there will be blood and lots of it. You’re working as a high level Rico unit that gets shit done. The story’s not super deep because it is a rogue-like project and needs to apply to every playthrough. You basically work your way up a crime family. The deeper into a “case”, the harder the criminals will hit back. The game is summed up by a little caption they have in-game: “Breakdown Doors, Shoot Bad Guys.” That is pretty much it. You get a dope ass slow mo effect if you break down a door or if you and your partner break down the door at the same time. These slow mo moments are wicked fun and the main reason I loved this game so much. Enemies flying everywhere, bullets ripping into bad guys and you and your partner sliding around, Max Payne or Matrix-style.
Every playthrough is different because almost everything is procedurally generated. There are a couple of environments but everything from the layout of the rooms, to the people and hazards in each, is procedurally generated. Even the potential guns you can unlock after each mission is random. Your growth through the game requiring you to play through a lot of cases to unlock all the weapons. So when I say rogue-like, I mean that if you die during a case you have to start all over again. You lose all the weapons you unlocked and start all over again with just a pistol. The enemies get quite hard as you go up the ladder, so it keeps that relative difficulty. Every case starts with you going through a training level of shooting targets and getting through a course quickly. It’s not a bad way to introduce players to the basics but it sucks on repeat playthroughs. This level’s repetition and some glitches are really the only problems with this game.
You will spend most of the game “solving cases” yet there are a couple other modes. There are daily runs, where you do a single map but the guns are randomly selected for each day, and each day has a easy, normal and hard mode version of these. Then comes the alternative mode I loved the most: Lockdown. You are locked in garage or placed on a rooftop as waves of bad guys come at you. It’s a fun mode where you can choose your weapons from an arsenal you have unlocked through the main mode. I had too much fun in this mode, given how simple it really was. There is also a daily challenge for it, so you can compare your score with your friends or a worldwide leaderboard.
People will either love the rogue-like aspect of this game or just hate it. I personally enjoyed it and the reason I have put over 15 hours into it, when most of the game is just “breaking down doors and shooting bad guys”, is that the game could get repetitive for some but I believe its procedural generation, daily challenges and multiplayer options keep it fresh. The co-op is easy to set up and if your friend is used to first-person shooters, it will be easy to pick up too.
I think Rico is a great buy for its price, whether digitally or physically. The eShop has some great shooters but the FPS genre is limited on the Switch. So, Rico is a great add to the library, especially given the price of its contemporaries. Fun as is, better with a friend.
8 Out of 10 Rico Cases
System: Nintendo Switch
Price Paid: We received a review copy (digital is $15, Physical is $30)
Time played: Over 15 hours
Reason to buy: A very solid FPS on a FPS deprived console
Reason Not to Buy: You might not like the rogue-like aspect but I think it keeps it interesting