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Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Rikodu


PC Preview - 'Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on July 10, 2019 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge is a multiplayer robot action game where you'll craft your own makeshift Frankie bot and go chassis-to-chassis against alien-controlled robots in action-packed brawls.

Pre-order Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge

The nice thing about robots is that they're so easy to customize. You can't tear off a human protagonist's arm without it being kind of a big deal, but a robot protagonist can easily swap limbs. Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge is all about that. You play as the titular Frankie, a robot who is the last "free" robot on the planet following an alien invasion. However, Frankie is no WALL-E, so he's more than willing to take the fight to the baddies by arming himself (literally) with anything he can find, from chainsaws to disco balls.

As you'd expect from someone with the name, Frankie is a custom-built Frankenstein of a robot. You have five different body parts: head, main weapon, secondary weapon, body and wheels. These effectively correspond to Special Attack, Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, General Stats and Movement Speed. Each equippable slot has attributes and cosmetic upgrades that allow you to change the appearance look losing the power. You can build yourself in a lot of different ways, from a melee monster to a long-distance sniper or a full-on support bot. Changing your build is as easy as changing your parts, which is a nice bonus.

Frankie's Revenge is a loot-driven game but doesn't look to be a microtransaction-focused one. Instead — at least in Early Access — you get a fairly steady stream of loot just for completing stages. There is only a smattering at the time of this writing, but it's easy to tell from the concept that there's a lot of room for bigger and better pieces of equipment down the line. This is the toughest thing to judge from Early Access, as it's one of the parts most likely to be fleshed out and tuned up down the line, but the basics feel good.

The gameplay in Frankie's Revenge is an isometric twin-stick shooter style, but of course, when you're buzzing apart robots with a chainsaw, it isn't a shooter so much as a slasher. Fortunately, it's a very good example of that genre. Frankie moves swiftly and is a breeze to control, so it's a lot of fun to tear through hordes of enemies. It doesn't really reinvent the wheel, but that isn't a bad thing. The pacing and controls work well, and that makes it excellent as a pick-up-and-play kind of game.

The game is also good at having different kinds of objectives. Some missions are pure blow-'em-up gameplay, but others require you to destroy enemy machines or protect an important object that you need to guide through the levels. It's not really a huge change. You're still going to focus almost exclusively on blowing up everything in your path, but sometimes, you need to think about what you're going to focus on blowing up. Thus far, the game feels like it has a good mix of challenge and satisfying explosions, and really, what more can you ask for?

Frankie's Revenge really shines when playing cooperatively (with up to four people). That's because there are a lot of builds that work best when fighting alongside other people. Support abilities like debuffs and heals don't work that well on your own, but it can be a tremendous boon when you're fighting with friends. When playing alone, you're going to default to whatever is best at being a jack-of-all-trades, but while playing cooperatively, you can focus on one specific build. Personally, I'm glad the game allows for a support-focused play style, as that's often missing in these twin-stick games.

All in all, Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge looks to be a solid addition to the twin-shooter genre. The easy customization and loot gathering can make for a very addictive experience. More importantly, the basic gameplay is fun and easy to pick up, which is a must. There's still a while to go before we see the full experience, but this looks like one Frankie who shouldn't fear the angry mobs. Frankie's Revenge is currently available in Early Access on Steam for anyone who wants to try it for themselves.

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