[Preview] Rock of Ages 3: Make and Break

Rock and Roll

In the build up to Gamescom, I received more emails inviting me to try out new games than I have ever received. The selection process was meticulous, as it had to be. Deciding whether the game would the title be a good fit for the site was the main criteria, and as such, choices were made accordingly. However, when an email arrived to try out a new unannounced game for Nintendo Switch, my interest was piqued.

As I entered the booth in the Indie hall, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but my curiosity was soon satiated as I was shown a video of the upcoming collaboration between Giant Monkey Robot and ACE Team. The video shown, was in fact that same one found above.

They see me rollin’

What became instantly obvious was the sheer amount of personality and humour injected into Rock of Ages 3. As someone who has never played a previous entry in the series, the wacky nature of the game had me captivated. The gameplay is reminiscent of Super Monkey Ball, and the bonus levels on Super Mario Galaxy 2 that see you traverse down a predetermined route, controlling a spherical object, whilst trying to avoid obstacles and pitfalls. Where Rock of Ages differs from the aforementioned games is that, as well as spheres, you can attempt to clear the courses with a whole plethora of objects. From a wheel of cheese to an inflated cow, all the varying options have unique physics that further augment the gameplay, providing further variety.

Show and tell

Once the trailer was done and dusted, the create section of Rock of Ages was shown off. We started with a blank canvas and a basic track was created, containing a start point, a finish line and a track to navigate. Once the track was created, the level was tested. It was pretty basic, so a jump and a trampoline were added, then some spiked barriers. Again, the level was tested and the jump was a little short, so it was immediately amended accordingly. All of this was done on the fly. The time between playing and editing was instant, allowing for courses to be edited without breaking the flow of the game too detrimentally.

The array of options on show was admittedly very impressive. Aside from adding obstacles and jumps, you could change the gradient of the tracks, as well as the width. The grid available was huge. In fact, every level in Rock of Ages 2, the previous iteration in the series, would fit inside it. I was told that the editing tool present in game is the exact build used to create the game’s levels by the teams responsible.

Switching it up

The build at Gamescom was admittedly shown on a top end PC so there was no slowdown, despite the sheer amount of assets added to the custom level we created. When asked about how it will perform, I was told that PS4 and Xbox One will handle the game without issues. The Nintendo Switch version may not handle such a busy environment so well, but the dev team are working hard to bring us the best version of the game possible. I enquired about the possibility of touch controls being present in the Nintendo Switch version, and while my question did seem to take them by surprise, they seemed keen on the idea of implementing them.

Rock of Ages 3: Make and Break will launch simultaneously on PC, Ps4, Xbox One and, of course, Nintendo Switch.

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