Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (PlayStation 5) artwork

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (PlayStation 5) review

"You Wanna Kno?"

In the futuristic city of New Amsterdam, there are five boroughs, each ruled by a gang, and all gangs overseen by a single leader. However, this figurehead position has currently been unoccupied due to "an incident," and now each gang is vying to dominate every borough and earn the title of All City. But instead of resorting to physical violence, these groups battle one another using two methods: graffiti and wheels! Taking on the role of the Bomb Rush Crew, the objective is to intrude on each area, spray-paint over their gang markings, and obtain enough Rep points in the process to earn a confrontation with these groups for control of their boroughs.

At the start you'll control Red, newest member of BRC and donning a red robotic head, and venture throughout the bustling city landscape, whether it's across squares, inside huge malls, and even a pyramid at sea. With a skateboard at your disposal, you'll grind on countless rails, travel up utility poles, bounce between advertisement signs, and use both your speed boost and "jet-pack" double jump to reach far and high platforms. And when you tag big markings, you must perform inputs with your right analog stick. If you're having trouble positioning yourself on a ledge or a small platform, you can thankfully switch between wheels and feet at the press of a button. Eventually, you're allowed to use other BRC members, such as the bicycling Tryce or the phone-obsessed, inline-skating Bel, and you can switch their default wheels for something else if you're feeling picky.

As you're plastering surfaces with art, it's not going to be so simple, as New Amsterdam's police will catch wind of your vandalism and dispatch forces. What begins as basic men in black chasing with batons will gradually turn into police with pistols and snipers aiming from rooftops, depending on how much vandalism was caused; there's even handcuff-launching turrets that will keep you in place. But with your skill set, characters can pummel through the police and break cuffs with tricks, and even use their boost to knock down cops like bowling pins. This becomes a bit more tricky when you have to face police with riot shields and multiple helicopters at once.

There are silly issues to tackle with some of the aforementioned aspects, such as the questionable execution of graffiti gameplay; spray inputs want you to swipe the analog stick in specific directions... but you can literally move the stick in a circular motion and get the same finished result every time. Granted, the devs did this to allow players to "choose" from their collected graffiti, but it's doubtful most players would memorize different art strokes. There are others, like the absurd accuracy of police pistol shots hitting at insane distances, or late-game score-based challenges feeling frustrating if you don't understand the multiplier system. But those latter two problems can be solved simply with literacy and AI manipulation.

All of the action will transpire within a cel-shaded, cartoon-inspired atmosphere, lending to the game's already artistic and fashionable style. Most characters have a minimalist, blocky, "low budget" look to their appearance, though this is an intentionally-creative decision, and further helps the game's already distinct visuals; hope you like everyone looking like fashion models in abstract futuristic clothing. As you spray detailed, unique graffiti everywhere, a catchy soundtrack blares in the background. You'll hear hip-hop, electronic dance, and snyth-like beats fuse and blend into one another from different artists, with even Hideki Naganuma contributing to the soundtrack, as you grind across the pavement and boost through the air.

There's no doubt that 2023's Bomb Rush Cyberfunk succeeds at capturing the look, feel, and spirit of Jet Set Radio Future, Smilebit's 2002 game released for the original Xbox. Now, this isn't the first time, nor the last, that a development team has intentionally made a game inspired by something they loved growing up; often you'll get something that kinda plays like Mega Man or feels similar to Contra, and more times than not, teams don't get them exactly right. Team Reptile, known for creating the equally-stylistic Lethal League games, have nailed JSRF's essence so closely here that it's scary. If you know someone who loves Smilebit's IP, and you were to show them images or footage of BRC without telling them what it is, they could easily mistake this for a Future remake or sequel.

The real beauty is that playing or even knowing about JSRF is not a prerequisite for enjoying BRC. All the nods are fun to spot, yes, but gliding around the city on your wheels, staying off the ground as much as possible, and doing countless tricks to the beat of a funky soundtrack is a pleasure in itself, regardless of references. Again, the game has its issues, but they don't bring the overall quality down. Though, if you're expecting high-level, rhythm-style difficulty with your spray action, this isn't the place; if you still want a challenge, then there's side-objectives that involve beating extremely high scores within a countdown. But the core Bomb Rush Cyberfunk experience is about having a good time and feeling the vibes.

Enjoy the journey.

dementedhut's avatar
Community review by dementedhut (May 03, 2024)

The bad type of grinding.


If you enjoyed this Bomb Rush Cyberfunk review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998 - 2024 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.