URG Review – Utopos Rocketship Game

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URG (formerly known as Gun Tech) is the latest title to come out of closed beta and hit the Steam store by Jani Penttinen. Penttinen is known for a release very similar to URG many moons ago. That game is Utopos and was released for the Atari ST in 1993. On researching more into Penttinen and Utopos Publishing, it also looks like there is a re-make of Utopos in the works. This is currently in closed beta, so we don’t have much to go from. However, it looks very similar to URG.

Utopos Rocketship Game – Set Radars To On

Top-down shooters can be great games, the last one I played was Steambirds Alliance. I was hooked, so I am excited to see how URG plays out and who knows? I might even have to revisit the Atari ST, I am pretty sure someone I know has one! If you have already played URG I would love to know your thoughts, let us know in the comments below!

Gameplay

As previously mentioned URG is a top-down shooter, which is a genre that has some absolutely epic retro titles. Within URG, You take control over one of the few spaceships available and battle your way through a various number of themed levels. The themes vary from seasonal to the like of the jungle! Within each of the levels, you have certain objectives. Each of the objectives can vary from saving the crew to defeating various numbers of enemies and even collectable objectives.

Each level as you go through them, get slightly more difficult which can be extremely challenging later on in the game. To make the levels easier you have the ability to upgrade your craft. As well as being able to do this you also have the ability to select different weapons. Again within the weapons, you can also upgrade them to really pack a punch to your craft.

Whilst playing URG I tried out both keyboard and controller and have to say I had a preference. The controller was by far easier to use which in turn made the game much more enjoyable to play. The tutorial, which is the first level you play gives you the basic level of knowledge needed. From here you will need to put time in to really master the control of the craft. Doing this will mean that you are soon flying around the levels and drifting around the corners in style. From here the grind is real, trying to defeat as many enemies as possible to retrieve coins so you can then perform the previously mentioned upgrades. Albeit it quite challenging at times, it was quite fun.

Graphics & Audio

Graphically URG is quite basic, so from a requirement’s perspective, you do not need many resources at all. I was running this on a 2060 Super which is way overkill for a title like this. The textures in relation to the environment are quite flat, for example, rocks look quite edgy and squared in places. The effects from the weaponry and the crafts in the game are what you would expect from a title like URG. They didn’t, by any stretch of the imagination blow me away, however, you didn’t really notice this when playing the game. As you are concentrating heavily on steering your ship. Whilst I did not have any graphical issues, I did experience the loss of my radar which did make the game quite difficult. The boundary could also potentially do with been restricted as well, I got lost quite a bit and obviously, with no radar, I couldn’t work out how to get back.

When it comes to audio the fundamental side is the sound effects. Starting with the craft, the afterburners when you are thrusting around the map remind me of 90s titles. Which is a nice nostalgic move within the game. There are numerous weapons available, and again nothing to scream and shout about. However, they fit the game really well. What I don’t understand, Is there is a remake of the Utopos game on the steam library in beta. This title seems to have better graphics and audio as well as being half the price.

Longevity

Although URG currently isn’t a huge game in terms of gameplay hours, It takes time to get used to the mechanics. This means that on your first run through (Not including the tutorial) you might not 3 star every level. So there will be some revisiting required for the completionist. There is also the co-op element of the game, however, this is only couch co-op. So during current times, if you game with friends you aren’t going to be playing co-op URG with COVID19 restrictions in place.

As this is a top-down shooter, the developers could quite easily add more levels and content to make the game more interesting. A great example of this within the game is the Seasonal levels. Also depending on game development mechanics available it would be a great opportunity if the devs released a create your own level pack. However, elements like this aren’t as simple as you think.

Final Thoughts

URG is definitely a title I would revisit after a couple of patches. It has the foundations of being a classic top-down shooter, it just needs that final polish to put this title in that box. It will be interesting to see how URG evolves alongside Jani’s other titles which are in development which are extremely similar. I will be keeping a close eye on them both to see where they end up.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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