RICO: London review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS4
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Ground Shatter/Numskull Games
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

RICO was one of those games that I was always kind of interested in playing, but never got around to it for some reason. It got decent reviews, and the basic gameplay ? where you?re just busting down doors and shooting everything in sight ? appealed to me as someone who likes to shoot first and plan later, at least when it comes to games. So I was definitely keen to check out RICO: London this time around, rather than letting it slip into my ever-increasing backlog.

If RICO: London is any indication of what that first game was like, however, I?m not going to be rushing out to the eShop and grabbing RICO the next time it goes on sale. In fact, if anything, it?s bad enough that I?ve removed RICO from my Wish List, since it?s hard to imagine this game having anything good associated with it.

The problem with RICO: London isn?t that it doesn?t deliver on what it promises. Rather, it?s that it delivers on its promise of door-busting, guns-blazing action a little too well: there?s literally nothing else to do in this game. Even as someone who?s inclined towards that kind of gameplay, it didn?t take long before I found myself incredibly bored.

RICO: London is basically one of those games where you see everything it has to offer in its first few minutes. You kick down a door, you get a brief burst of slo-mo vision during which time you can blast away at the bad guys caught off-guard, then you finish shooting up the place and move on to the next room, where you do it all over again. There?s virtually no variety to the missions (to the game?s credit, it does start giving you objectives other than ?Kill everyone!” once you get into the later levels), the rooms on any given floor all start looking pretty similar once you?ve been through three or four of them, the characters all look pretty much the same, and you?ll hear the same bits of dialogue repeated ad nauseum in every single new room.

Bizarrely, the game assumes that you?ve played RICO already, so it never actually tells you how to play. This is just a minor quibble, but it took me far too long to figure out how to reload my gun ? but I only figured it out after I?d pressed every single button, and I?d died several times trying to figure it out. We?re not talking complex gameplay, of course, so it?s not like you need to figure out anything too crazy, but it doesn?t seem like too much to ask that a game give you a screen that displays which button does what.

Then again, it?s not like RICO: London puts much effort into anything else, so I get why they?d skip something so basic. Despite the near-constant action, it?s still a dull, repetitive shooter that wears out its welcome within a few minutes, and you?d be well-advised to skip it entirely.

Aksys Games provided us with a RICO: London Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: D+