Blaze a trail of destruction around the open world city of Nauseous Pines. Take your experimental Police //RUSH// unit right into the heart of the action, race up the three tier city to save whats left of the cities junkies. Solve the mystery of enigmatic nightclub owner Ultra Violet at breakneck speed and uncover the origins of the super drug “Nox” that has left so many without the use of their limbs; and so many females missing.
//N.P.P.D Rush// The Milk of Ultraviolet – What We Think:
As a long-time fan of the cyberpunk genre I was naturally intrigued by //N.P.P.D. Rush// : The Milk of Ultraviolet (hereafter referred to as Rush). Developed by a small indie team known as Rail Slave Games, Rush places you into a twisted dystopian world where the populace are under the horrific effects of a drug called Nox. Taking on the role of an addict who has been “rescued” from the damaging effects of her addiction by having her limbs removed and being grafted into a police attack bike, you must explore the city and find thirty additional addicts. If this sounds at all bizarre to you, then buckle up as Rush has plenty of unusual quirks to discover.
Rush ‘N Attack
The gameplay of Rush is that of a simple top-down shooter with the occasional nod towards the bullet-hell sub-genre. A brief story introduces you to the cyberpunk plot, and then you’re placed in the middle of a sizable three tier city riddled with enemies to dispatch and addicts who need to be saved. There are only a few enemy types but they are abundantly distributed through the city. You’ll find yourself facing off against twisted organic creatures that either try to ram you or engulf you in an endless wave of colorful bullets.
Staying alive in the chaotic city is the least of your worries; While there are plenty of threats, the game’s main challenge lies in the time limit. You have a limited amount of “rush” with which to explore the city, and this is ticking down at a constant rate. If you can’t find all thirty addicts within this time frame it’s game over. Thankfully there are ways in which you can speed up your search or gain more time.
Killing enemies grants you cash which can be spent at several vendors that are grouped together in one area of the city. You can upgrade your weapon, buy junkies to help reach your quota and buy more time. A more unusual option allows you to sell your “spare” organs in order to gain a large sum of cash. This results in your health ticking down slowly but gives you enough money to buy all the time you need, changing the dynamic of the game and making your health the real timer.
The action of Rush is engaging and fun, if a little repetitive. The game is very short (lasting less than an hour if you get to grips with the mechanics of buying extra time quickly) and unfortunately it has more than a few irritating features. For a start the loading times are longer than you might expect (perhaps an intentional feature given the retro aesthetic of the game).
Another potentially frustrating issue is that whenever you move between the levels of the city you must spend a short while clicking on a low quality portrait of a woman (apparently shooting it). That said, there is something eerie about these scenes and while they eventually become tedious they do have a role in supporting the narrative of the game.
Scratch That Glitch
The story and aesthetics go hand in hand here, and Rush is completely ingrained in cyberpunk themes, harkening back to classics such as Ghost in the Shell and Akira. Another divisive aesthetic feature is the glitch ridden design philosophy. Rush is intentionally built to look like a half finished piece of software from the eighties. Portions of the background are flashing in various colors and the tiles that make up the world are a complete mishmash.
Some may find this style offensive to the senses while others will appreciate this unusual trip down memory lane. As someone who spent hours of his teens naively exploring what I perceived to be the digital mysteries of Pokémon’s Missingno. glitch, I found it fun to explore a world seemingly built out of error-ridden components.
A Bit Rushed
//N.P.P.D. Rush// The Milk of Ultraviolet is unusual to say the least. Its use of retro, glitchy aesthetics is reminiscent of the ZX Spectrum while its cyberpunk themes harken back to some of the greats of the genre, creating a unique and absorbing experience. That said, some players may find the uninviting design choices and short length to be difficult issues to overlook.
//N.P.P.D. RUSH// Teaser Trailer – Desura