Rock and Roll is not dead
Anything that looks like Monty Python and feels like Katamari Damacy is going to get some love from me, and Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break may as well be their love child. The third in a zany franchise developed by Giant Monkey Robot and ACE Team and published by Modus Games and 3goo, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break promises to delight in the same way its predecessors have with new and improved mechanics, but can it deliver? Only one way to find out!
Like the first two, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break treats players to a whimsical world using art from various cultures in history. Greco-Roman vase art, ancient Chinese paintings, Aztec-style composites, Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man, and even the “professionally” restored Jesus fresco (you know the one) make it into the third installment, keeping the art fresh while still giving us that good stuff we crave in this series.
In fact, much of Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break feels similar to previous installments with only minor twists here and there — the music is largely that same classical remix goodness, albeit this time there’s the occasional electric guitar thrown in. The art-filled storyline features new characters and bosses woven through new worlds with literal laugh-out-loud moments that would make Terry Gilliam proud. And with completely new modes like avalanche mode (waves of boulders come at you at once), Humpty Dumpty mode (gave me Sumo Wrestler Katamari vibes), timed mode, and the hotly anticipated level creator, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break attempts to keep what’s working and have fun with novel concepts.
Which… brings me to the one issue I have with Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break — this feels meant for returning players. For those familiar with the series, perhaps you’ll remember that beginning levels were on secure ground with fencing keeping boulders in, as a way for players to get familiar with mechanics without worry. In Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break, the levels are fairly unforgiving for new players, as they’re on perilous platforms from the word “go” — literally, the way-too-short tutorial level had me falling off the edge more times than I could count. It’s hard to get that feel of rolling free that previous installments gave; you can only go so fast until you roll right off. Every. Single. Time.
With that being said, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is absolutely going to give you bang for your buck. Even on just the silly storyline campaign, this is a game to waste hours and hours on. The replay value is incredible, especially with the new timed mode, and where multiplayer is both couch co-op for two players and online multiplayer for four, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break will very quickly become an addicting way to spend what is looking to be an evermore likely second quarantine.
Despite my frustrations with getting the hang of the maps and learning how to set up defenses, I never felt like I was going to ragequit. Sure, I may have dropped more F-bombs than I normally do, but frustrations quickly dissipated after each level, as I was able to choose a new way to play after losing one too many times. Too agitated to get the hang of skeeball? Play the timed mode for a bit. Frustrated with the current world? Head on over to another one and practice that map. Hopping around from level to level felt great, as there was always something new to keep me occupied.
There’s so much fun to be had with the Rock of Ages series, and Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break showed that really clever mechanics can be taken a step further, pushing already ridiculous limits. Although the difficulty barrier to entry is a little steep if this is your first foray into the franchise, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is still fantastically fun and will keep you glued to your screen for months to come. I can’t imagine playing this on anything else except PS4, since it so strongly reminds me of Katamari in terms of controlling the boulder, but anything with a controller is probably going to be your best bet. However you like to play, be sure to check out Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break — just roll with it!
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PC, XBox One, Switch, & PS4 (reviewed); Publisher: Modus Games, 3goo; Developer: Giant Monkey Robot, ACE Team; Players: 1-4; Released: July 21, 2020; MSRP: $29.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a copy of Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break given to HeyPoorPlayer by the publisher.