Rock of Ages

Rolling Stones

By canana, Posted 05 Sep 2012

Rock of Ages is a game developed by ACE Team and published by Atlus. It islabeled as "Tower Offense" instead of the usual Tower Defense genre, in which you attack and the enemy takes defense. In this case, you're doing both. The goal is not only to protect your own territory but also destroy the opponent. The game is based on the myth of Sisyphus, the Greek who was condemned by the gods to push a large and heavy stone up a mountain and drop it, repeating the process indefinitely.

The gameplay is simple, consisting of being the very huge rock, performing tasks and goals, beginning with the Greek punished assist against King Agamemnon, after walking for five different historical periods. To accomplish these tasks there are several special abilities that can be acquired, such as wings and iron coating, each delivering different characteristics. The game also features very accurate art direction with many influences from Terry Gilliam (Monty Python).

Rock of Ages Review

Sisyphus is another example of rebellion against the gods in the world of gaming. However, instead of acting like Kratos and rip everyone with blades, the protagonist of Rock of Ages prefers to use a giant boulder that overcomes defenses and crushes the enemy, literally. The method is as effective as used by the Good War, only much more elegant. Rock of Ages has two objectives. The first is to go all the way to the castle occupied by the enemy, avoiding the pitfalls of defenses raised by the opponent along the way. Second is to protect your own territory, using weapons such as catapults, fans, explosives, cows trowing stones, etc. Those who get to crush the rival first wins. This theme, though obvious, brings something completely new to the tower defense formula and makes Rock of Ages an extremely challenging game. You need to know the right time to attack and dispense with perfection traps scattered throughout the arenas in order to stop the enemy's advance. With a lot of different levels and weapons, Rock of Ages ends up becoming an addictive game.

The same freedom taken by developers with the myth of Sisyphus is also present in the representation of other historical figures. Throughout the game, the player will face major historical characters like Marie Antoinette, Leonidas, Hades, Plato and Aristotle (the last two in zombie form), each with their own timeperiod. The game also plays with history and makes jokes with icons of the past. One prominent example appears during a battle against the statue of David, which is one of the boss stages . Guess which is the weak point of the enemy? Rock of Ages also has historical and pop culture references. In the Sparta level, Leonidas plays the classic catchphrase from the movie "300" and Leonardo Da Vinci already appears as The Architect in what can be considered a remake of the final scenes of "Matrix Revolutions."

Many may think of Rock of Ages as a game that eventually becomes repetitive over time, since all you do is attack and defendto delay the enemy. ACE Team staff also thought of this and made​ sure to add variety to the scenarios so that a round is never the same as before. As the enemies faced vary according to the historical period in which Sisyphus is, the challenges are also modified according to the specific historical period. The game requires the player to know how to use certain defenses at the right time, so as not to spend hard-won money during matches in useless items.

Rock of Ages Review

The interesting premise and innovative gameplay of Rock of Ages, however, suffer from problems in the controls. The control scheme chosen by ACE Team makes all movement done with the analog stick. While this option makes moving the stone quite intuitive, it significantly can hinder the construction of defenses. Positioning the cursor in the correct place amid the backdrop of vast and crowded quarters can become a very difficult task. In addition, it is a waste of time because it can harm the player, often creating a loophole that can be exploited by the enemy.

Based in a not-so-new concept, developer ACE Team has created one of the most entertaining games available for purchase via digital stores. The jokes with historical figures, coupled with the objective gameplay and lots of action, Rock of Ages transformed into a unique experience, able to hold the player for hours in front of the console. Above all, the title is the ultimate proof that a simple idea can work perfectly. Leave your prejudices (and preferably only by large franchises) aside and try Rock of Ages. Surely, you will not regret it.

Marco Cecilio, NoobFeed

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General Information

Rock of Ages

75/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Atlus
Developer(s): ACE Team
Genres: Tower Defense
Themes: Action, Strategy
Release Date: 2011-08-31

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