Rubber Bandits is a wacky party-brawler game developed by Flashbulb Games. Here you play as a Bandit- that too a rubbery one. Your objective is to pull off a heist with the highest possible loot and fight with or against your fellow bandits in the process. An arsenal of wacky weapons would be at disposal and law enforcers would be present to cause unavoidable nuances.
Overall, this sounds like a crisp idea on paper and it quite is if you put aside its fair share of nuances that come with it.
A Loner Party is a ‘NO GO’
At this point, the game has been out for more than a month and if you still can’t find friends/fam to play with, you might as well drop the idea of getting this game right away. Simply put, it’s not fun to play this game by yourself. That includes random matching in Heist Mode and a loner playthrough of its Arcade mode. It feels like beating dead meat or rubber – however you wanna put it.
Thankfully it is available on GamePass. So if you are on PC/Xbox, there’s a good chance that you may end up having fun with this title with your friends. The matches are relatively short, and thanks to its light-hearted theme and jiggly gameplay- it is quite an ideal candidate for parents to play with their kids locally and avoid the occasionally long matchmaking loading screens altogether.
Securing the Escape Route
When boiled down to its core- Rubber Bandits boils down to three things – loot, escape route, and weapons. The heist starts with you breaking out of your cell and then when the map is about to load – a prescribed escape route is shown. Once you get past all the match-making stuff, the players (supports up to 4 players) make their entrance.
There would be weapons ranging from an undermined banana to explosively powerful RPGs scattered all over the place. Securing one of these from the start could greatly turn the odds in your favor. Then all you gotta do is gather the highest possible loot and fend off the cops and possibly other players if you are playing in PvP Heist Mode. And finally, you gotta escape. Be mindful of those cops though, they can always make you drop your loot by beating you to a pulp.
Elasticity is a Beautiful Thing
Despite featuring quite a few weapons on its maps, Rubber Bandits deliberately avoids the concept of killing or being killed. Thanks to its jiggly physics who make this possible. You can beat each other to a pulp with almost anything you can find while breaking no sweat at all. Having the loot at your hands will have you at the edge of your seats.
It’s hard to put it into words but the physics at play here is easily one of the most intriguing features of the game. Though it’s not revolutionary like TLOU 2’s rope physics, it’s easily one of the good ones out there. With over 10 locations and 24 arcade levels, there’s a healthy amount of room for experimentation left for the players.
How Things are Holding Up as of Yet
Despite being more than a month old now, the game has not received any major updates as of yet. The minor updates that have been rolled over the course have addressed issues like load times and some minor glitches but there’s still room for improvement when it comes to matchmaking. It takes anywhere from 1-3 minutes on PSN (with Cross-Play enabled) and is somewhat shorter if you are playing on Game Pass. I was often matched up with Xbox Players during match-making as there aren’t many players on PSN due to its somewhat hefty price tag.
Besides the match-making issues, the game has not really expanded itself from its Day 1 version in any major way as of yet. Sure you can use the loot that you gather to unlock skins and characters but there’s barely any incentive for the loot besides these things. Skins, Characters, and Emotes have been the common norm in all multiplayer games these days. The addition of new maps and possibly a short introductory 2-3 hours long story campaign could greatly bolster the game’s current value.
If you are on Xbox Game Pass, then by all means you should definitely go for Rubber Bandit. However, on the PlayStation side of things, its player-base seems to be dwindling due to its current price tag. A price reduction could really liven things up for this family-friendly brawler. A fun campaign addition and new map updates could greatly help in sustaining its current player base. Nevertheless, it still remains to be fun at its core.