Rock Of Ages 3: Make & Break Review

Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is a carefree hop, skip, and jump through world history, art, and absurdist meme culture. One moment it’s 800 BC and the set is dressed in the myths of ancient Greece, the next it’s 1500 AD and the sun god gazes down on Tenochtitlan, then a bit later it’s the very beginning of time and everything is spaghetti and meatballs. It never dwells, never stops to make sense of it all. Historical figures pop their cartoonish heads into view for a brief visual gag before disappearing, bit players tossed aside in a bygone round of whack-a-mole.

Fittingly, Rock of Ages 3 is best enjoyed with the same restless approach in mind. Structured as a series of discrete challenges, each hectic bout of arcade action lasting no more than a couple of frantic minutes, it feels designed to be experienced in short, sharp bursts. Don’t linger. Dip in and, when you feel the frustration levels rising, dip out, move on to a new challenge, or simply come back later.

The core conceit revolves around the idea that all war, throughout all history, is essentially fought by lobbing rocks at each other. The Rock of Ages series has so far focused on one very specific interpretation of this idea: You have to roll a rock through a trap-laden obstacle course to attack the enemy castle at the end. Controlling the roll takes some adjustment. The initial temptation is to embrace the top speed of your chosen boulder and should be resisted. Move too fast and you won’t have the handling to steer through the crowded tracks, let alone slow down in time to make the next corner. Rocks don’t have brakes as such, and it took me some time to get used to easing off the accelerator when required and knowing when my built-up momentum was optimal to negotiate what lay ahead.

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