You got a funny-looking face!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were just a few inches tall? Tiny enough that cracks in the desert seem like grand canyons, one-gallon milk cartons can be called homes, and one of your biggest threats is being smashed by a rolling cue ball.
In Rango The Videogame, you are thrown into Rango’s shoes, or reptilian feet in this case. The storyline does not follow the movie, but rather shares a grandiose tale which Rango relates to his furry friends in the dusty saloon of the Wild West Town called Dirt. He flashbacks to heroic tales about defeating bad guys on a moving train, rescuing Bean’s father, and saving the town from the walking dead.
It sounds dangerous, but Rango is one chameleon that packs a punch. The single-player campaign is definitely enjoyable. With a variety of level design and ongoing action, it’s disappointing to discover that the campaign is only four to five hours long. Swarms of enemies, such as vultures, pesky rabbits, and other rodents, attack you, but dispatching them is incredibly easy, making it suitable for younger audiences. The gunplay is simple: The rate of fire increases the faster you mash trigger button, and with an infinite amount of ammo combined with an auto-aim feature, nothing can go wrong.
However, the camera view makes shooting, climbing, and jumping often difficult or awkward. It often becomes stuck or refuses to display a side view of Rango as he jumps from one small platform to the next. During combat, you won’t be able to see most of the Dirtonians attacking you, since the point of view is limited, but since you are attacked in swarms, your main focus is to shoot as quickly as you can.
At different points in the game, you'll encounter bigger areas with boxes that randomly give you weapons to help you defeat waves of enemies. Those weapons include a machine gun called the Blaster, a shotgun named the Spreadshot, and the Launcher, which fires dynamite sticks. Each weapon is deadly, but only lasts for a limited amount of time, so aim carefully and take out as many bad guys as you can.
Another option for combat is resorting to melee, and Rango combines different moves together to create multipliers, where he can earn more sheriff stars. Sheriff stars are used to purchase upgrades, which you can also obtain by killing enemies and smashing or shooting boxes and crates. There are 17 different upgrades to choose from, ranging from boosting melee attack damage to increasing Rango’s health meter or extending the ammo capacity of Rango’s gun.
Overall, there are many different things to hold your attention throughout the campaign. Some levels involve riding road runners to catch a speeding train or riding a desert bat through narrow caves. Golden bullet sequences give you a chance to guide a bullet in third-person perspective to shoot bull’s-eye targets. Other mini-games involve golfing and the objective is to aim for and hit a specific target in order to progress. One of my favorite golfing sequences was preventing zombies (yes, zombies!) from reaching and attacking a gate, by lining up my shot to take out multiple zombies at once, since the golf “ball” explodes on impact.
The level design, added mini-games, and continuous action make the campaign surprisingly entertaining. While it is great fun, that’s all there is to the game. As you advance, character bios and character concept art unlock, but there aren’t any extras—I would have loved to play a separate zombie mini-game of some sort, but alas, the campaign is the only thing you’re going to get. Rango The Videogame is admittedly full of laughs and lovable moments. Too bad those moments don’t last long enough to also be memorable.