BadLands RoadTrip is almost comically ambitious with its “open world action adventure with co-op multiplayer where the player builds their own gun and goes on a quest to rid the world of the robot apocalypse.” As expected, this doesn’t always work – there is a reason why open world titles are usually tackled by larger studios, not single developers. However, the game has one standout feature I’d love to see a lot more of all across the AAA and indie space.
You see, the reward for blasting those robots to smithereens is money, which in turn allows you to customize your guns to your heart’s content. This goes way deeper than just cosmetic options: in addition to adding different components such as barrels and firing mechanisms to your weapon, you also craft the bullets it uses. Here, you can set the amount of shell, propellant, rocket fuel, and explosives, leading to all sorts of weapons that not only look, but handle differently.
This is well done and keeps you invested in your little arsenal… even if the rest of the game is probably hit-and-miss for most players. You might find the humor either refreshing and quirky or obnoxious, and the open world doesn’t have very much to do besides traveling to the next quest hub and shooting lots of robots. There are also technical issues that bring down the frame rate to single digits occasionally.
I did like the small physics puzzles where you had to shoot through some tubes in order to unlock new weapon parts. Very clever, that! Also, there’s a nice sense of escalation, with the enemies getting progressively stronger and your own weapons turning ever more ridiculous.
Sure, BadLands RoadTrip has a few issues, but if the humor works for you, you should probably give it a shot, if only for the pleasure of turning your lousy old pea shooter into a four-barreled semi-automatic revolver that shoots exploding rubber balls.
You can purchase BadLands RoadTrip from Steam for $9.99. For more information, visit the game’s website and follow developer Oswald de Bruin on Twitter.