Risk of Rain 2, developed by Hopoo Games is the chaotic, roguelike third-person shooter nobody knew they needed. It challenges classic shooter games by barraging the player with practically infinite rounds of projectiles. This requires you to have quick instincts and to constantly be on your feet.
A game that has your screen filled to the max with projectiles is a good game in my books.
At its core, it’s quite a simple game. Its fundamental mechanics are very similar to some of the other third person shooters out there such as Enter the Gungeon. Take that base and mix it with some very diverse items and some of the coolest and most creative bosses I’ve ever seen and you have a very appealing game that won’t have you feeling bored of it any time soon.
Each and every character in the game has a unique play-style. Some allowing you to rush into levels guns blazing, while others requiring you to be careful where you tread. Each character also has their own primary weapon. For example, the Artificer allows you to hurl fireballs at enemies, while the Huntress has what I like to call ‘aimbot arrows’ that automatically target the closest enemy on screen.
Risk of Rain 2 is also stacked with easter eggs. Every stage is guaranteed to have at least 1 easter egg or secret in it which is a nice way to deviate from the regular gameplay. A few of them could leave you mindlessly searching for a very long time, unless, you know where to look.
Another thing that could leave you foraging the map for an unreasonable amount of time is the teleporter. That is one of the only issues I’ve found gameplay-wise. The fact you have to search every nook and cranny of the map to have a chance at encountering the teleporter means that you could very well be stuck in 1 level for 20-30 minutes. My suggestion to combat this would be to make the teleporter produce some kind of noise that grows louder as the player gets nearer after a certain amount of time has been spent on this level.
ROR 2’s gameplay also revolves around beefing your character to the max. While you may feel small and underpowered at the start of your run, as you progress through the stages you’ll pick up more items which over time will significantly boost your lethality. There are also some some insane legendary items out there which can completely turn the tide. One such item is the elusive Ceremonial Dagger which spawns 3 homing knives for every enemy killed. All items are also stackable with no limit so with the right items you could theoretically melt down bosses.
Obviously as you progress through levels, you won’t be the only one powering up and getting stronger. More enemies will spawn, bosses will have substantially more health and will deal massive amounts of damage. That’s what I love about this game. The fact that enemies scale up with you allows the game to maintain its chaotic nature so that you will always be having intense, large-scale battles.
The in-game music is strange and alien-like. It has an eerie vibe to it, but by no means is it distracting, in fact I think it suits this game perfectly.
I absolutely love this games’ art style. It’s gorgeously simple yet some bosses like the Overloading Worm look so freaking cool. The game focuses more on colour choice rather than sheer detail and it has worked outstandingly in their favour. Each stage has its own colour palette. Bosses and some other enemies radiate a charismatic glow, making them stand out from everything else. The game looks beautiful, there’s no doubt about it.
My only gripe would be that some enemies, more specifically the beetle could do with a slightly brighter tone of colour because especially on the ‘Wetland Aspect’ map, they are generally difficult to see and the only way I can distinguish them from the terrain is through their health bar.
Controls + Optimization:
Controls are excellent. No key felt out of place and in-game character movement felt snappy and responsive which is crucial for a game like this.
I also faced no input lag which I’m very happy about for such a fast-paced game like this.
Optimization-wise, I didn’t get any FPS hiccups during my gameplay and the game runs at a smooth 120 FPS.
However it is worth noting that once you get to the later stages, your FPS will drop to half because of the sheer amount of enemies on screen. That unfortunately will always be a prevalent problem with games like this, therefore I am not deducting points for this.
Risk of Rain was one of the best roguelike indies of its time, bringing an unparalleled experience to the table. Risk of Rain 2 followed its predecessors’ footsteps allowing it to evolve and develop into this grand, action-packed indie.
Unlike the thousands of other rogue-likes out there, ROR 2 is stacked with madness and an unforgiving, ramping difficulty. This gives you more than a couple reasons to continue grinding it. I, like many others who bought this game am pleasantly surprised with the way it turned out.
It has definitely earned its $20 value, especially with the heartfelt devs at Hopoo Games who I can trust will continue to push out pivotal updates for the game.