As a fan of rock music, I was very intrigued by the premise of No Straight Roads. No Straight Roads presents a future where EDM rules with an iron fist, and you play as the rebels, Mayday and Zuke, who are trying to change it and bring back rock.
The game opens with Mayday and Zuke having an audition to get picked up by massive government/recording company NSR, but the company decides they don’t want them. It doesn’t help when Mayday believes NSR didn’t give them a fair shot, NSR puts out a message saying all rock is now illegal, and finally shuts power off to everyone except the NSR elite. Thus begins our protagonists journey to rock their way to justice.
The dialogue for me left something to be desired, with it often feeling like a cheesy kid show with no substance, and jokes that would often fall flat. Our protagonists would also too often revert to their respective one-character trait. Mayday would over-react and shout, whilst Zuke would barely react in a stereo-typical stoner style. It was a shame, as a story I was intrigued about ended up falling flat for me, and I was ultimately left feeling uninvested in the protagonists. But the story isn’t the main aspect of this game.
When it comes to the game play, No Straight Roads lets you either swap freely between Mayday and Zuke, or you can play co-op with another player so each player has a character.
No matter who you’re playing, it is pretty easy to pick up and play. Both characters have a melee combo, can pick up ammo for ranged attacks, and can use a transform ability to turn specific spots in the environment into useful allies. There are some minor differences between them, but the only real differences are Mayday is stronger and Zuke faster but weaker. The transformation items are also slightly different, Mayday usually changes items into things to attack with, while Zuke typically goes for supportive items. Eventually, you’ll get unique abilities that also follow the same attack/support trend.
Each level you will start at your hub in the sewers. Your hub is where you can upgrade each character, and get a small brief about the upcoming boss. But you can also do a lot of other interesting things like a radio interview or there’s an arcade mini-game you can play. Once you chose to leave the sewers you enter Vinyl City which you travel through until you enter the bosses “security levels” where you have to defeat a few different types of enemies, ultimately leading to a boss fight at the end. There’s not much to say about the security levels, as they get a bit repetitive and dull after a few bosses, and can be frustrating as the game shines in the boss battles.
The boss battles do come down to phases, and each phase you dodge until you get your chance to attack, either melee or ranged. I was kept interested during these as the visuals always stood out in these segments and with each phase the tempo would change meaning you would have to figure out a new dodge/attack timing leaving it always feel challenging enough whilst still being simple to figure out.
Ultimately, I enjoyed playing No Straight Roads even if it did occasionally feel flat and repetitive. I loved the visuals and artwork, everything on screen was bright and vibrant. I think this game would be vastly more enjoyable if I played on the Switch rather than the PS4. Being able to pick up and play a level at a time would be a lot more fun and would remove my complaints of it being repetitive. I think Metronomik are aware of this too as they have given the Switch version some exclusive content. I’d give No Straight Roads a
Thank you for reading this review for No Straight Roads, I’ve been Matthew from Respawning, and if you’ve enjoyed this video then comment down below. You can find more Respawning content either on YouTube or Twitch, and get regular updates from us right here. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next time