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“Bomb Rush Cyberfunk” brings BMX a new life

(Photo courtesy of Slant Magazine) “Main character Red is shown in a promotional clip from the game.” 

Ezequiel Perez
Connector Contributor

Welcome to the city of New Amsterdam! Published by Team Reptile on August 18, 2023, the player follows the story of Red. After a prison escape, Red has his head replaced with a machine and cannot remember anything. In order to get his memories back, Red joins the gang who saved him, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. The gang must graffiti, perform tricks, battle residential gangs, take control of all 5 burrows in New Amsterdam and defeat the corrupt police department in order to get Red’s original head back.  

The game, although having an insane and out of this world storyline, is heavily inspired by games like “Jet Set Radio” and “Jet Set Radio Future”. The gameplay of “Bomb Rush Cyberfunk” is very open and free, allowing the player to traverse the burrows of New Amsterdam through parkour, BMX, skateboard, or rollerblades. The traversal and movement in the game feels extremely satisfying, being able to grind on rails to gain momentum, hit corners to increase speed and do tricks both on the ground and in mid-air to further gain a boost in speed and in score, which the game tracks and multiplies based off of the amount of tricks that the player performs. 

The art of “Bomb Rush Cyberfunk” also plays a key factor in the game, as the player is constantly tagging and graffiting over small and large spots across each burrow. The game, like its inspirations, is very cell shaded and gritty, with all of the characters and gangs having their own style and personality. The Franks are all Frankenstein themed basketball lovers, the Eclipse gang are an all-girl crew who are obsessed with astrology, and the DOT EXE gang are a group of robot breakdancers with TVs for heads, just to name a few. 

Not only does the game look visually appealing, but the graffiti and tagging that players do throughout the game also matches the style of the game. Team Reptile wanted to keep in tone with the street style that the game shows and reflects, so before the game was released, they teamed up with artists across the internet to throw a contest called the Graffiti Battle, to have artists have their own tags in the game. Thousands of artists entered with their own tags and art, and all 26 winners of the contest made art that adds to the vibe that the game gives off. 

With the art being so influential to the game, the music also adds to the atmosphere and energy of the game. The soundtrack features a ton of drum and bass, electronic, hip hop, and high energy music that matches whatever the player is doing in game. Whenever the player is in a cutscene, the music in the background reflects the emotion of the scenes. Whenever they’re just freeriding throughout the city, the music will change and flow depending on if they are just tricking out or running away from the police. Each song in its soundtrack is collectible in game, so if players want to hear a specific song, they can, and it will always fade in and transition to a new song extremely smoothly. 

“Bomb Rush Cyberfunk” is a game that pays homage to its inspirations to an unbelievable extreme. The feeling and energy that the player experiences from the combination of the gameplay, movement, and art style is unmatched when it comes to other games. Its ability to show respect to musicians, graffiti artists, and athletes that skate, rollerblade, BMX, or parkour is something that carries this game to another field of play. Everything about the game is done to its extreme, tanks and helicopters chasing you across the city just for tagging a wall, the different fights and boss battles throughout the game, each experience, although over the top and crazy, adds to the games identity and personality. It’s hectic, energetic and unpredictable, and it makes players think that they could BMX across their city and graffiti at the same time and get away with it. 

Grade: A