RoboCop, the history of video games

RoboCop, the history of video games


Write RoboCop and immediately think of the Eighties. The robot-policeman conceived by Edward Neumeier and staged by Paul Verhoeven has become a real icon over time, so much so that it deserves two sequels and a reboot (one uglier than the other), a television series, a cartoon animated and, of course, a long list of tie-ins that we will illustrate in the following lines. In this special we retrace the history of RoboCop through its videogame adaptations.

RoboCop (1998)

The release of RoboCop for Amstrad, graphically, was among the poorest To deal with the first transposition in bits of agent Alex Murphy was Data East Corporation, creating a cabinet version and adapting it to the most powerful home systems. The Amiga and Atari ST releases of RoboCop dated 1998 are graphically more faithful to the original, followed by that for Apple II. Ocean takes care of the port for the less powerful platforms (Amstrad, DOS, Game Boy).

In both cases we are talking about a horizontal scrolling fighting game with sporadic first person sections. The plot is taken from that of the first film. DOS version color note: Origin released the most advanced EGA version in the US, leaving the less defined CGA to the European market.

RoboCop 2 (1990)

A screenshot of the NES version by RoboCop 2 The release of the sequel RoboCop 2 is accompanied by the inevitable tie-in. The impressive coin-op version is always handled by Data East, while Ocean takes care of the distribution for home systems, realizing in-house releases for Amstrad / ZX Spectrum, entrusting the newly formed Special FX Software with the one for the more powerful Amiga and Atari and Painting By Numbers the one destined for NES, Commodore 64 and Game Boy.

In RoboCop 2 the game structure differs between the arcade version and the one for PC and console. The first maintains the side scrolling setting of the previous one, but adds the possibility to challenge the bad guys in the company of a second player, while in the second RoboCop must also jump to move from one platform to another.

RoboCop 3 (1992)

The DID version of RoboCop 3 was the first to adopt three-dimensional graphics In this case we are faced with a series of tie-ins released before the film, which in fact will arrive in theaters only towards the end of the following year. Choice that turns out to be apt especially for the version created by Digital Image Design for PC, Amiga and Atari ST of RoboCop 3. Using the same graphic engine that the following year would have moved the famous TFX, the British software house created a successful mix between a racing game and a rudimentary first person shooter.

In order to manage such a mass of polygons it needed computational power that other platforms could not afford. With RoboCop 3 the publisher Origin therefore decided to maintain the successful structure of the first two chapters, entrusting the console versions to Probe (the spectacular one for Super Nintendo). Vertical scrolling shoot 'em up sections in which you control a flying RoboCop are also added in this episode. The NES release differs from the others and looks like a real platformer.

RoboCop Versus The Terminator (1994)

In RoboCop Vs Terminator you could not choose to use the T-800 Two years later the legendary Virgin Interactive gives shape to a forbidden dream, that of uniting two of the most iconic and complementary figures of the action cinema of the Eighties, namely the robot with the appearance of a man and the man with the appearance of a robot. In RoboCop Versus The Terminator the player, unfortunately, can only control Agent Murphy. High visual impact graphics especially for the Mega Drive version, edited, together with those of the other SEGA consoles, by Virgin itself.

Interplay took care of that for Super Nintendo instead. Along the lines of what happened with Aladdin, the two titles, while sharing the same mechanics and a similar graphic style, were not connected in any way, and even differed in the plot that was told in the first case with simple textual screens, in the second with some spectacular movies.

RoboCop (2003)

RoboCop of 2003 is one of the worst tie-ins of the series After the massacre of the third chapter, RoboCop lost appeal and also disappeared from the videogame scene. The French Titus took over the reins with RoboCop from 2003. Leaving aside the bad action with isometric view for Game Boy Color (made in 2001 by Mirage), in 2003 it was the turn of what should have been the highlight of the house, that is a first person shooter made in RenderWare for all systems of the era (Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Windows). Unfortunately the results were catastrophic: just think that the score on Metacritic stops at 30. In our review we were more magnanimous, granting him a 4 of encouragement: in short, to be avoided like the plague.

RoboCop ( 2014)

Not even the 2014 chapter of RoboCop was a success Another decade passes and Hollywood decides to exhume the corpse of RoboCop in 2014 with one of the most forgettable reboots of recent years: sure, always better than the shame of the 1993, but far from being minimally sufficient, despite an important budget.

The videogame transposition stops (fortunately) on mobile platforms with the tactical shooter proposed by GLU Interactive (here our review). It is a "static" first-person, free-to-play shooter that has literally disappeared into oblivion, in the sense that it has not only been removed from the Google and Apple stores, but even from the developer's official website.

Appearance in Mortal Kombat and other tributes

Recently RoboCop entered the Mortal Kombat 11 roster with the Aftermath DLC; thanks to this addition it was possible to recreate the mythical clash against the Terminator. In this revival of the Eighties, NetherRealm Studios' choice to represent the T-800 with the current appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger (now 74 years old) jars, while maintaining the youthful features of the face of the contemporary Peter Weller.

A tribute to the robot-policeman also comes from the second episode of James Pond, jokingly subtitled RoboCod. In the Victordean platformer, the fish-secret agent wears armor similar to that of RoboCop.

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