Vicious Circle is a mean cycle. That’s not just a reference to a Paramore song, it may as well be the tagline for the game. Up to four players spawn in as mercenaries trying to get nugs from weird pimple things on the ground/wall or giant sacks hanging from the roof. One player spawns in as the mammoth monster Peggy Sue who roams the map and tries to kill all the mercenaries. As they fall they respawn back into the map as aliens who try to take over a new host.

It’s a new and arguably innovative concept that while it works can sometimes fall a bit shy of the mark. Let’s talk about a little more about what works and what doesn’t in Rooster Teeth Game’s new title.

Interesting Concept

The gist of the Vicious Circle was explained above, however, the game explains itself as an uncooperative shooter. Meaning the whole point is to screw everyone over and escape. You know, assuming the monster doesn’t kill everyone in the first two minutes of the game. Unfortunately, that seems to happen quite a bit. If the player controlling the monster has even half a brain they can just rush in and kill off the group with minimal effort.

If by some miracle that isn’t the case though and the players playing the mercenaries know which end of the gun does the big boom booms when it’s pointed at the bad guys then a truly fun match can occur. Players have a ton of tools at their disposal that can influence the match in a number of ways.

The Shock Grenade stuns players and makes them drop nugs you can shove in your pockets as you leg it away from them. It also affects monsters by stopping them long enough for you to sprint around a corner. There’s also a sound decoy, a mimic decoy, a teleporter to send mercenaries or monsters to a different spot on the map, a Soldier 76 style heal for those moments you aren’t shafting your teammates.

Speaking of giving your teammates the shaft, many doors on the map lock to slow the monster player down, they will also keep others trapped in an area if used right. It helps immensely when the evac zone is opened since only one player can leave and secure the victory. There’s a bunch of things players can do to contest the zone so the others can’t leave. You can run up and wap them with a melee (since guns don’t hurt the mercs), you can throw a shock grenade at them so a number of nugs drop, prolonging their win. If that isn’t on the table I am a huge proponent of just bringing the monster to them if the monster isn’t already nearby.

Big Personality, Small Packaging

The characters in Vicious Circle all have their own fleshed out and distinguished personalities. Blitz, voiced by Geoff Ramsey, is a smart-mouthed thug type that blinks around the map similar to the Tracer. Captain Boom, voiced by Dave Fennoy, who has a defense shield and seems like a by the book grizzled soldier. Both Michael and Lindsay Jones voice Cr45h & Burn the like-able robot who can transform into a little ball and zip away from the enemy. Barbara Dunkelman takes the mantle of an alien named Zella who can turn invisible temporarily and keeps her pimp hand strong as her melee attack.

Other characters come in the form of Burnie Burns taking up Starsky, who is the voice characters hear constantly on the in-game chatter. He’s sort of acts as the leader for the mercs, more or less an employer really. Matt Hullum takes up the role of Big Sauce, the voice Peggy Sue and the monster players hear as their instructor.

The playable characters all have unlockable skins and voice lines for the in-game emote wheel. They unlock through a natural level progression as well as in the battle pass. What sets the battle pass in Vicious Circle apart from the battle pass in most games is the fact that the battle pass is available to all players for free.

You don’t get stuck with a watered-down free version of it because you didn’t want to play for the full thing. That is a huge bonus for players like myself who don’t have that extra cash to throw around. I hope that is the tone for future content in the game. I would much rather be able to grind to unlock something as an alternative to dropping money for it.

Cluck Luck

Peggy Sue can be an unfair mistress. She’s incredibly strong in comparison to the squishy mercenaries. Players really have to band together to take her down. It is possible to kill Peggy and temporarily remove her from the match but it takes a hell of a lot of effort. Which arguably isn’t a bad thing.

Aggressive Peggy players have no real issues to take out whole teams. If they get over to the room outside of the starting area fast enough they can use her acid egg attack for starting damage and slow the mercs then just use her dash to pin them into a wall and get an instant kill. They really nailed the formidable enemy with her attacks, as basically stated, she is a wrecking crew in most instances.

Closing Thoughts

I want to make it crystal clear that I do not hate this game. I actually liked it and the concept is presented. It just doesn’t seem like Vicious Circle is for me. It seems like the perfect game for a group of friends or content creators to play and make content for respectively. It is a lot more satisfying to screw over your friends than it is to screw over a stranger. It feels a lot better to throw a shock grenade and hear Gerardo and Chad call me expletives as I cackle in glee than it does to hear absolutely nothing on the other end of the headset.

It also makes me worry for the longevity of Vicious Circle. There’s a certain amount of fatigue that can come with multiplayer releases such as this that can occur rather quickly. Running around the same handful of maps with the same number of characters can only sustain its’ audience for so long. I really hope the road map to this is paved with decently spaced out future content. I know the team will do their best to keep the game balanced and release new content. I just hope they don’t get pushed to the point of burnout because of any sort of crunch. I would rather see an open and honest timed release of content then just rushing out the next thing. It more or less works for the Apex Legends team and that’s part of the reason I keep coming back to the game.

Setting aside whatever alienation I felt that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of the game, there is enough here to make the game stand out and for me to recommend that others should play it. The team at Rooster Teeth Games cares incredibly for this and they often hang out in the discord to address issues with the game, talk about the future of it and even jump into games from time to time. The effort they put into this game shows from the variety to the map, the efforts in the characters, the updates that have occurred since the first closed beta I participated in. For only twenty dollars Vicious Circle is one of the most bangs for your buck multiplayer games on the market.

 

Vicious Circle Review
The Good
  • Stand out characters
  • Solid map design
  • Great support for the game from the dev team
The Bad
  • Monster can wipe teams easily ending rounds in under a minute and thirty seconds
  • Can be genuinely frustrating, especially playing against the same team over and over.
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel