Whether it's throwing a panda off a cliff or coming up with ingenious ways to make the most of five seconds, Rescue Party: Live! will push you to the limit. Part live rescue mission and part multitasking mayhem, the co-op game tasks you with saving as many people as you can from cosmic catastrophes while keeping a cool head.
Similar to the insanely popular Overcooked franchise, the game is best played with friends either online or in local co-op. Playing all by your lonesome is possible too, but really, what's the fun in that? In particular, what's the fun in trying to rescue people without having anyone else to blame for your failures?
And you really will fail, time and time again. Each stage may start simple enough - with maybe just a guy or two who needs CPR and a couple of bandages - but you'll soon discover that things aren't quite what they seem at first, as they never are during disasters. Pretty soon, structures are falling and fires are sprouting everywhere, and you'll have to do everything you can to rescue wayward pandas while making sure you don't die from toxic fumes.
I did, however, get a few laughs (and expected arguments) with my family here each time we picked up the game and played, which, in a genre like this, is really all you ever need to achieve.
With such a frantic pace, you'd think playing through the game might be frustrating as heck, but it's actually a pretty enjoyable experience. You'll zip to and fro across various catastrophic scenarios with your teammates - and yes, teamwork is everything in this game. Some patients need both of your undivided attention, or some rubble can't be cleared alone. Sometimes, you'll have to chuck your partner across great ravines to get them to the other side - you may even have to do that to a patient you just patched up.
It's all pretty hilarious, especially with the wide variety of characters you can choose to play as. While the visuals are all cutesy, you can't let that or anything else distract you from the pressing matters at hand. At the beginning of each stage, you have to analyze your environment to gather resources, solve puzzles, and make sure things are running as efficiently as possible by the time the timer runs out if you want to score all those sweet, sweet stars at the end of each level.
Rescue Party: Live! | Final Thoughts
It's all well and good, but the thing is that I actually found the game to be too similar to Overcooked, which can be a pro and a con in itself. While I do appreciate the creative angle of this spunky team of rescuers (there's even a doggo in there) being reported on by a live camera crew, it still doesn't feel anything too unique - at least, in my opinion.
I also particularly found the music rather dull - it's not catchy or even inspiring at all, which is such a shame for such a colorful game with vibrant art styles. There are also a few translation errors I spotted, and the wonky texts floating around on screen aren't helping. I get that they're supposed to be comments from people watching or something like that, but these ghostly dialogue lines randomly scrolling through your screen as you scurry about here and there are really more of a nuisance than a flavor enhancer.
Probably the most frustrating thing here is that my controllers couldn't seem to work on this game in particular, even if they work perfectly fine with my other games on Steam. I did have the input mapping and the controller options enabled and everything, so I'm not too sure what went wrong here. We had to play on the keyboard each time, and the experience is…not fun.
Overall, I appreciate Rescue Party: Live! for trying to add a fresh twist to an old favorite. It's a great concept, but I suppose it needs more polish for it to really stand on its own. I did, however, get a few laughs (and expected arguments) with my family here each time we picked up the game and played, which, in a genre like this, is really all you ever need to achieve.
TechRaptor reviewed Rescue Party: Live! on Steam with a copy provided by the publisher.
- Hilarious Gameplay
- Stages Are Varied
- Co-Op Mechanics Are Strong
- Not The Most Original Game
- Background Music Is Uninteresting
- Translation Issues