By Michael Fontanini / June 3rd, 2021
Rustler is an early access, top-down, open-world game that pays homage to the play style of the older Grand Theft Auto games. You can think of it like that, except that unlike those games, this one takes place in a “historically inaccurate medieval” and comedic world. The goofiness is visible right from the start, as in the opening scene where you’ll notice a “horse” on one of the village roofs:
You are “The Guy,” and you will be committing grand theft horse in this game. As you wake up after passing out, you learn that you are the one responsible for some of this mischief. There are many things you can do in the game, such as plowing the field next to your home to make a small amount of money. Of course, you can go do quests to make a much better income. There are also collectibles to find scattered about the world, like horseshoes.
If you kill someone, your notoriety increases and law enforcement will begin to chase you. In the event that you kill some more, you will find that higher notoriety causes new, more formidable types of law enforcement units to pursue you. For example, guys decked out in full armor and longer range weapons. When you see a wanted poster while being pursued, you can tear it down to reduce your notoriety a little. It will also decrease naturally over time if you manage to elude them. If you need to lose the police fast, you can always stop by your friendly neighborhood Pimp a Horse for a new coat of paint. Then they won’t recognize you anymore!
As you can see, the gameplay is relatively simple in this medieval sandbox world. As far as the size of the world, it is by no means huge by modern standards, but still big enough that it will take you a while to find and complete everything. You’ll also encounter goofy details sprinkled all around the land. An example is that some of the police have flashing red and blue lights on their horses like modern police.
As Rustler is in early access, the gameplay is fun, but has some flaws. The controls can take a bit of getting used to, but the most annoying thing is getting stuck on objects. This happens fairly often when walking close to things, making it a nuisance at times. There are currently two different control schemes to choose from. The “mouse oriented” mode uses the WASD keys, and the W and S keys make the character walk toward or away from your mouse cursor. The other option is “screen oriented,” which simply makes the character move up, down, left, or right when you press the WASD keys. You can interact using the E key, and as you may expect, the key bindings can be changed to customize your controls.
Rustler does pretty well in the sound department. The sound effects are well done, and breathe life into the world. For example, people screaming when they see you attack someone, or how the police sometimes berate and cuss at you while in pursuit. The game also has a very nice medieval soundtrack. You’ll also hear the music change when you get close to a bard. Don’t like the song a bard is playing? No problem, just walk up and punch the guy to make him play a different song!
Rustler is a fun game with a lot of potential. The fact that it is a bit rough around the edges is to be expected given its early access status. I really enjoyed the comedic nonsense sprinkled throughout the world. Rustler really doesn’t take itself too seriously at all, but that’s not a bad thing. You can grab the game on Steam for $24.99. Rustler also already includes well over 20 achievements, and mostly positive reviews on its store page.
Games OperatorsJutsu GamesModus GamesPreviewsRustler