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Rochard: Hard Times (PC) Review

Rochard gets some new DLC, and it’s very aptly named.

Rochard was released in late 2011 and was a fun and interesting puzzle platformer with a great sense of humour.  It seems that a few people had some complaints about the difficulty being a bit low.  Recoil Games have answered those problems with the ‘Hard Times’ DLC, and hard times are definitely ahead for you.

‘Hard Times’ consists of four new levels, each with its own theme, ‘Container Chaos’, ‘Shaft Shuffle’, ‘Brainyard’ and ‘Assembly Line’.  There’s no story to the levels, they’re just extra challenges where the focus is mostly on the puzzle solving aspects of the game rather than the combat, although you will find yourself having to contend with enemies along the way.  The lack of story does mean that there isn’t as much of the humour this time around, although the light hearted death messages are still fun.

The difficulty is definitely noticeably higher this time around, requiring you to make very precise jumps, or move items around in very specific ways.  You’ll need to make use of all your gravity abilities to make it through.  The G-Lifter that you use to move objects around is fully upgradeable to help you lift heavier objects, and the use of your gravity lowering ability allows you to move items you wouldn’t normally be able to.  There’s also a lot of use of energy shields, which are coloured differently depending on whether Rochard can pass through it or whether other objects can.  These shields are alternated by plugging in or removing batteries from nearby power points.

The new levels contain all new environments that look great and mix things up a little, with their mix of bright, futuristic colours really looking vibrant.  The character animations and enemies look as good as ever too, and everything just looks crisp and clean.  The soundtrack is nice as well, combining space trucker style music with nice electronic beats.

Hard Times itself costs £1.59, and for that money you’re getting around an extra 5 hours or so of new content, which is a pretty good deal no matter how you look at it.  However, this isn’t for the easily frustrated or just anyone who found Rochard challenging itself, as this is a lot more difficult.  Using the mouse and keyboard controls rather than a control pad makes things a bit easier on you, though.

Hard Times is an aptly named expansion to Rochard, as the difficulty is ramped up noticeably.  There isn’t really any story to speak of, but the bigger focus on the puzzle solving aspect of the game is welcome.  For a measly £1.59, this is an absolute bargain, but you will die a lot, though, but never in an unfair fashion.

About Mike Jones

Mike is Brutal Gamer's Indie Editor. He has been playing video games since the early 90s and is fond of racing games, puzzlers and MMOs. Typing /played while in WoW makes him cry, but not enough to stop him playing some more.

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