Audiences familiar with previous versions of the franchise or even other works by ACE Team Studios will not be surprised to see Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break with this weird structure. This series, which is considered a special version of the Tower Defense genre, in the last ten years and with the presentation of three different versions, has gained a lot of fans for themselves, who follow the simple gameplay and a special sense of humor influenced by Monty Python. Rock of Ages 3, which was released three years after the second part, has not changed much in the formula of this series, but has added a completely new part to it, which will probably be very attractive for old fans of this series.
As in the previous two versions, in which the audience traveled with a character from the heart of Greek mythology throughout history, this time we are to join Odysseus in the grip of Cyclops and take part in battles from the beginning of time millions of years ago to the present. The piece of stone in the story, this time, is neither the stone that Atlas cast for Zeus instead of the earth, nor the stone that punished Sisyphus.
There was a gap of about 6 years between the release of the first two versions, and this interval led to fundamental thoughts for humorous moments, which made the second version one of the best comedy titles of all time. Halving the distance between the release of Rock of Ages 3 and the previous version is probably one of the factors that made one of the most important factors in the value of this franchise less than the previous versions. In each part of the new story, as in previous versions, there is an interlude that is more or less in line with the series’ usual sense of humor, but the situations do not convey the amount of humor we expected.
The gameplay has two general parts, which are mentioned in the subtitle of the game title. In the Break section, we are faced with the same things that in the previous two episodes formed the core of the gameplay, but this time, the type of arrangement of the steps has changed. Rock of Ages 3 consists of approximately 20 main story sections, each of which includes several sub-stages and a main stage, which do not need to be done individually, but to get more features and faster access to the stages. Completing everything also warrants for some extra unlockable content.
The sub-stages are in 4 different formats, three of which are like a speed race or collecting more points than the opponent, and in the fourth case, the competition is about getting to the opponent’s palace faster. The main stage of each section is the tower defense system of this series, so that you and your opponent must reach the palace at the other side as soon as possible and with the least effort, crush the rival commander under your piece of stone by destroying the gate! Two things are important in this way, one is your skill in guiding your piece of stone and the other is the proper use of traps to prevent the success of the opponent. Traps start with simple things like walls and spring bumps and end with things like whales with suction power and lions hanging from balloons!
The stages are designed based on the specific time period in which they took place and the characteristics we have in mind of the main enemy commander (people like Genghis Khan and Rasputin). Repetition is relatively far from the game. But then we come to the completely new part of Rock of Ages 3, the Make section, in which, with basic training by Napoleon Bonaparte, the audience has the opportunity to create their own parcour and share them with others and challenge them. The facilities of this section are very impressive and even as someone who is not very interested in building, I was involved in this section for a few hours. The construction part significantly increases the overall value of the game and makes us imagine a bright future for this title given the die-hard fans of the franchise.
The visual design is not significantly different from previous versions, and this is not a bad thing, of course. As in the second game, the characters and environments were depicted under the influence of Renaissance, Surreal, etc. paintings. This time, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, and East Asian wood paintings, etc., dictated the appearance of Rock of Ages 3. A number of non-historical environments are also included in the game, which also have their own special design, which makes the artistic design of the work more widespread and is another strength of the visual artstyle. The soundtrack is a combination of today’s happy musical tracks combined with fast rhythm and classical tunes, which were used in the same form in the previous games, and this practice is part of the identity of this franchise.
For fans, apart from the relative weakness in humor, Rock of Ages 3 is the best possible package, the addition of the hardware and instrumentation can be a source of entertainment and games for years, and for people who are curious about this franchise, it’s also a good starting point, because in addition to all the basic rules of this franchise, a new and valuable creative part is included in it.
Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is a splendid third installment that could be played for years to come!