Ground Shatter’s RICO London is the follow-up to 2019’s RICO, and after an earlier launch on PC the game is now available for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 as well. We tested the latter for this review.
It’s been two and half years since we reviewed RICO, but we still fondly remember its gameplay equivalent of that typical action movie scene where someone kicks open a door and shouts “move! move! move! bogey! move! clear!” You get the picture, and RICO London is roughly the same formula but in a new setting.
Here, you play as a London police officer in a storyline that takes place roughly twenty years ago, but can be summed up in just a single sentence. You’re leading an assault on an apartment building, moving up to the lead bad guys at the top by clearing room after room of their henchman. In other words – typical action movie stuff.
That cinematic influence also carries over to the gameplay, which starts a slo-mo effect when you enter a room (by kicking in the door, of course) and gives you just a few seconds to clear the room, dodging bullets and delivering swift justice. If you have good aim, you’ll get a points multiplier for that as well.
Guns, ammo, medkits and other perks can be picked up or bought at checkpoints that are conveniently located in staircases between floors – something that makes little sense outside of a game content, but we’ll take it. Grabbing some additional ammo is likely going to be your biggest concern during these moments, because as long as you have bullets in your gun and are pretty decent at RICO London’s main gameplay loop, the game prefers to give you a satisfying action sequence over a challenge that needs a bunch of retries to get past it.
RICO London is an accessible game to get into, and this also makes it a really fun local co-op game. Here, in split screen, you take turns in kicking in doors and going in to provide cover fire, and because clearing a room only takes a few moments it’s a rollercoaster of adrenaline where you can freely experiment with team tactics. You can also just go in guns blazing, but friendly fire is a real risk – especially in rooms where there are hostages.
A decent amount of weapon variety helps to keep things fresh for a while, but ultimately RICO London is a lot of ‘rinse and repeat’ action and it’s a good thing that the main gameplay element is such a thrilling one. If it connects with you, you’ll have a blast, especially when playing in short bursts. You can even go online now, but without friends who own the same game we didn’t try out that mode – which is new and wasn’t a part of the first RICO.
With similar comic book-like looks and definitely a similar feel, this game isn’t going to change your mind if you didn’t enjoy the original game, but if you did then this’ll offer familiar thrills – something akin to a direct to video sequel of an action movie, and there’s definitely a market for those as well.