- Total Score: - 6.5/106.5/10
If you can look past the minor annoyances, overall length, and you enjoy the old school Grand Theft Auto games you may find enjoyment in Rustler.
Developer – Jutsu Games
Publisher – Jutsu Games, Modus Games, Game Operators, PlayWay
Platforms – Xbox, Playstation, Switch, PC
Rustler is perhaps one of the weirdest games I have played in a while. It is as if the Wayan brothers made a parody of A Knight’s Tale and someone turned it into a video game. It is filled with a ton of movie references from films such as The Godfather to Fight Club and a lot of crude humor. The gameplay is pretty much a modernized version of the original Grand Theft Auto series, much like another title that I previewed last week, Glitchpunk. However, Rustler is a much more polished experience and has some fun elements accompanied by a fair share of minor annoyances.
You are Guy, a Rustler that is trying to better his lot in life. He and his friend set out on a scheme to fake nobility and enter a tournament to become king of half the kingdom. Along the way, you take on several missions that help you acquire gold in order to pay for things you need to help you on your quest. Many of the quests involve violent altercations with villagers that get in your way of achieving your lofty goals. However, you can also take on jobs to help out around the village. These include jobs such as collect injured villagers and take them to the hospital, or taxi them around from place to place to earn some extra gold.
During most of the quests you will come encounter Knights. These act as the police and you have to either reduce your wanted level by tearing down wanted posters or gallop your horse to the local Pimp My Horse to get away immediately. Another way around this is to complete the quest that you are currently on unless it is a scripted knight chase. You will be making this trip very often and can get kind of repetitive.
There are a variety of different weapons that Guy can use such as swords, halberd, axes, and crossbows. Each of these weapons have different uses, like bows can do a lot of damage at range but have a very slow reload time where a sword does less damage but can attack faster and use your stamina to swing. As you progress and complete missions you also gain skill points that you can use to increase Guy’s abilities like a bigger health pool, collecting more gold, and reducing the time it takes to regenerate your stamina. This adds a deeper element of customization to your character.
As you travel the world there are quite a few collectables that you can find around such as musical notes and horseshoes that can help you acquire skill points as well. Completing these tasks will add some time to the overall game and you should probably try to get a few of these as the overall run time of the main story and most side missions is about 6-7 hours. Going for these collectables and completing all the sidequests could add a few more hours to the run time. Outside of this, there really isn’t much to come back to in the game. In my opinion, the game seems a little short. I think it would have been cool to add some sort of co-op or multiplayer mode to where you could compete in horse races, jousting tournaments, or even just duels.
Overall, Rustler is a pretty straightforward affair. The game doesn’t evolve much as you play, the combat stays pretty simple with attacking and dodging. The story is entertaining and provides quite a few laughs. The humor might not be for everyone as some jokes and references are pretty dated but I enjoyed a good amount of them. One of my biggest annoyances is that it is a bit light on the music. You have to hire a bard to follow you around to provide music and while this makes sense in terms of the time frame it feels a bit quiet throughout. It almost made me wish that I bought the upgrade to the bard skill to reduce the cost of a bard to make them free.
Another annoyance was just how simple and easy the quests are. Most of them consist of the same activities. Go to point A, talk to someone, kill someone, return to A. Only a few missions really stand out, such as collecting weed and putting them under platforms that are going to be used to burn people at the stake making everyone high. If you can look past the amount of content and overall length of the game and you enjoy the old school GTA games you may find enjoyment from Rustler.