Title: Vicious Circle
Available on: PC
Developer: Rooster Teeth Games
Publisher: Rooster Teeth Games
Genre: Multiplayer, Action-Adventure
Version Tested: PC
Official Site: Vicious Circle
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Where to Buy: Steam
Games like Dead by Daylight or Evolve forces players to work together to survive the attacks of a vicious creature or a killer straight out of your worst nightmares. However, Rooster Teeth Games’ newest title, Vicious Circle, flips this idea on its head with their new multiplayer shooter, but, unfortunately, it leaves a lot to be desired.
There’s No I in Team
Vicious Circle’s main idea is that it is an “uncooperative” multiplayer shooter. The game’s matches begin with four mercenaries attempting to work together in destroying one monster. However, a major element of gameplay is the collection of nuggets throughout the match. A player wins a match by having the most nuggets by the time the evac zones go live, and they can use any means necessary to obtain them. Whether you spend the whole match collecting nuggets or you decide to steal them all from your fellow players at the end is up to you.
Each of the four mercenaries (Zella, Blitz, Captain Boom, and CR45H & BURN) have their own special abilities and playing styles. Right now, there is only one monster available, a giant mutant chicken, whose job is to keep Vicious Circle’s mercenaries from escaping through the evac zones. One cool gameplay mechanic revolves around the mercenaries. If you’re killed by the monster, mercenaries have the opportunity to come back as brainy, tentacle monsters that can attack other mercenaries for an opportunity to come back into the game.
This cool little mechanic, however, brings us to one of the games major problems: balancing. Once you’ve died and come back as one of these little creatures, it is nearly impossible to come back in the game. So, really, you’re just running around killing time before the match ends just hoping that maybe you’ll get lucky enough to run into somebody. On the opposite side of that, there’s really no challenge to being the monster. At times I would kill players without even realizing it- that’s just how easy it was to run around as a giant, mutant chicken.
I Feel Like I’ve Been Here Before…
There are two major problems with the gameplay element: there’s a lot going on and it’s repetitive. So, at least in the matches of Vicious Circle I played, players very rarely worked together to take out the mutant chicken. Which, with how easily it can take you out, made getting nuggets of any kind pretty difficult. So, needless to say, people are kind of all over the place when it comes to matches and not in a fun way. And nine times out of ten, I was a tentacle monster before the evac zones open because I would try to take out the monster… So, I never really got to participate in the tricky gameplay that should set this game apart.
With that being said, the game is more than a little repetitive, even with the switching out of characters. It’s not easy to make a game feel like there’s a lot going on and nothing going on at the same time, but somehow Vicious Circle makes it happen. The matches are actually kind of boring despite everything going on, and it feels super repetitive.
But It Has A Good Personality
If there is anything that Rooster Teeth does well it is character and humor. And Vicious Circle is no different. The individual mercenaries look great, and they each have a very distinct personality (voiced by some of Rooster Teeth’s best!). Their witty one-liners and distinct abilities make Vicious Circle’s characters the very best thing about it; it’s just a shame that the game itself isn’t much better.
That being said, I think in the future Vicious Circle could be something cool. The setting and environments are pretty cool, and it has a great sense of charm. Later this month, the first DLC of two is set to release, and I hope that they will continue to improve the game because it could be fun and interesting. But, as of right now, it could seriously use a little more tender loving care.
Verdict: Vicious Circle has all of the humor and charm that Rooster Teeth is known for but none of the polish or thoughtfulness. Repetitive gameplay and a lack of fulfilling gameplay or substance leave this feeling more like a chore than a competitive romp with your pals. This multiplayer shooter could have seriously benefited from some more development time, and, hopefully, the coming DLCs will fix this up.
What are your thoughts on Vicious Circle? Did you find the gameplay to be repetitive? Let us know in the comments below!
- Cool setting
- Great character and charm
- Repetitive gameplay
- Lack of substance
- Balancing issues