You'd be amazed at how many deep cut PS4 games are so widely overlooked. (They wouldn't be called deep cuts if they weren't overlooked.) There's more than you'd think and I am reviewing another one of those games today. This is MOP: Operation Cleanup for the PS4. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)
In a world that's void of human life. In a world full of rubbish and evil creatures, there is a robot (that looks like a washing machine with arms and legs) named Mop. His purpose in life is to clean up planet Earth, so it can be habitable for plant and human lifeforms. The story isn't much, and not very original (it's practically a knock off on Wall-E), but it works. It was fun enough to get me invested into the game.
The goal of this game is to run though and complete missions in trash ridden levels. The levels are quite big with a lot of space to explore. Sure, sounds simple, but what if I told you that the gameplay has an element that takes what sounds like a standard platformer and turns it on its head. Great news! It does! This isn't your standard platformer. It's a auto-running platforming game.
Unlike most auto-runners, you won't be running an endless stage in hopes of gaining that sweet as honey high score. The levels have a start and finish. This element adds a layer of puzzle to the mix. These levels aren't linear either, there's a lot of twists, turns, ups, downs, and all-arounds. Strategy is needed in order to complete all of the goals and it was a very fun challenge to figure out. Heck! With some of the moves you need to use to progress, the system in this is really close to being brilliant.
The missions are simple and repetitive. You'll mainly be tasked into collecting all of the rubbish and squash all the baddies. You don't need to complete all of the missions on a stage, but you'll need to complete enough in order to unlock levels.
More elements are added deeper into the game. There's levels with switches, secrets, rooms that flip your directions, power-ups, and even the dreaded swimming levels. The variety and challenge is there and it keeps the game feeling fresh.
Difficulty is tough, but fair. There's a lot of moments that require sharp reflexes and pin point precision. It takes some time getting used to, but all so satisfying once you've nailed the rhythm down. Mop does have a decent sized health bar, so you are free to make some mistakes. The baddies and some of the environment will take one damage from you when touched. However, falling into a deadly pit will kill you right away.
It's a very good system that's fairly confident. It's not perfect though due to the responsiveness of the controls. There were times where they felt a bit too tight and times where they were too loose. It didn't nail down the responsiveness to the best that it could've been. Could've use a little bit of re-balancing.
The weirdest part of this game happens right on the final level. I'm not spoiling much when I say this as there's nothing all that deep with the story to spoil. There's a boss fight that comes right out of nowhere and it was incredibly awkward. It goes from a platforming game to a vertical tower run. This boss isn't too hard, but it feels so out of place to where it is ultra jarring. It doesn't help that it feels unfinished at the same time. It's like the devs had plans to put a boss fight at the end of each world, but didn't have time to finish it, and forgot to delete the remnants from the final version.
I really liked the look of the graphics. They look like something that you'd find in a graphic novel. The levels are grimy and yucky, the baddies are bad and gruesome, and our main hero is cute and charming. The coloring also does a great job at creating the junky post-apocalyptic future with its mixture of bright and murky colors. There's a downside though, the murkiness of the background will blend with some of the enemy sprites. This means that you'll have a hard time trying to spot some of them.
The animation isn't great. It looks like it was animated to look like a flash game that you'd find on New Grounds back in the day. It's also quite limited. Our main hero has a few different animations, while the bad guys have far less. All of this isn't bad enough to ruin the game, but the animation could've been better. Although, Mop doing his victory salute is super adorable.
The soundtrack is very dark, moody, and not all that great. If you like drone heavy industrial music then you may get a kick out of it. It does its job at helping with the atmosphere, but the chances are that you won't even notice that it is there. You'll be too focused on the gameplay to pay attention to the bland and forgettable soundtrack.
Mop's sound-bytes are a little weird. It's digital mumbling, but if you listen closely it sounds like Mop is saying stuff like: Bottom! Xbox Sucks! and WAAAAHHHH! I know Mop isn't really saying that stuff (minus waaaahhhh), but now you won't be able to unhear that.
Overall, MOP: Operation Cleanup is a fun auto-running platformer with a new twist. It's certainly not perfect and has its flaws, but it is a neat little interesting deep cut of a PS4 game. I recommend checking it out. I give this game a seven out of ten. 7/10