Published on December 15th, 2023 | by Marc Rigg

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk PS5 Review

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk PS5 Review Marc Rigg

Summary: A modern take on the Jet Set Radio formula, that could have done more to excite.



Dutch studio Team Reptile of Lethal League fame knows how to do good game feel, and with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, they’ve knocked it out of the park yet again.

When looking at Bomb Rush Cyberfunk the most immediate and obvious comparison to be made is with SEGA’s timeless classic, Jet Set Radio. Team Reptile has nailed the art style, the Dreamcast aesthetic. Using simple, chunky models, flat textures that are brightly coloured, and often deliberately low resolution, and I love it.

Jet Set Radio was far from perfect, however, most notably the controls. How the game played ranged from occasionally frustrating to just straight-up bad depending on who you speak to. Thankfully this isn’t an issue with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. Controls are smooth and responsive, the camera behaves itself, and getting around is effortless for the most part. There are still a lot of tricky jumps and difficult platforming sections, but it doesn’t feel like the game and its camera are actively working against the player now, it feels fair.

Most of your time in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is spent cruising around and spray-painting over rival gangs’ tags. Doing so builds up your reputation, which when high enough, allows you to challenge the various rival gang members dotted around the map to a short contest. These contests include hitting a score in the allotted time, following a line, or maintaining a combo. They’re mostly all very simple and don’t require a lot of effort to beat. Winning these contests grants you a chance to confront the gangs’ leaders, and upon beating them you claim the territory as your own.

There’s the occasional boss battle scattered throughout the narrative, and these are the first aspects of the game that I can say that I really did not like. You see there’s ‘combat’ in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, pressing square, triangle, or circle while on foot will perform a variety of attacks, that while visually are all different, are in fact the same as one another in actuality. It’s clunky and awkward, and just not very fun when you’re forced to partake in it.

This loop of building up rep, challenging gang members, and conquering the territory is what drives the story along, with the ultimate goal being to take over all five areas and defeat the mysterious DJ Cyber. It’s not particularly deep, or even especially interesting, but it does enough to keep things moving along at a decent pace.

All of this is wrapped in an eclectic soundtrack. It’s all a mishmash of hip hop, dance, and EDM, and admittedly it isn’t the sort of thing I listen to on a day-to-day basis, but it mostly all works, and aside from a few tracks that verge on being overly repetitive, it’s enjoyable to listen to. The highlight is absolutely the work of Hideki Naganuma, creator of the iconic Jet Set Radio soundtracks who contributes three tracks to the game.

I generally enjoyed my time with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, but it’s far from perfect. The gameplay loop feels good in the moment, the tight controls make comboing around the city feel great, but I found that it got repetitive quickly. There’s not enough variation in the lacklustre story to keep things interesting, and while there’s plenty to do in the game, 20 characters to unlock and hundreds of spots to find and tag, I just couldn’t stay engaged with it for longer than an hour or so at a time. I’d start to get into the zone then a combat section would turn up or be forced to grind rep to continue and it would pull me straight back out again.

Final Thoughts?

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk has a lot going for it. It’s wonderfully nostalgic for an era in gaming where publishers took more risks so it’s a shame that Team Reptile didn’t take a few more with this.

About the Author'

Back to Top ↑