Streets of Rogue DEALS
A Roguelike game, a term I was in all honesty unaware of until playing this game, is one that features similarities to a 1980 game called Rogue (you can see how it works). Classic features include a dungeon crawler RPG style, procedurally generated levels, and permadeath. Indeed, these are here in droves.
The game’s look is a peculiar fantasy/modern/steampunkesque 16 bit, giving it a retro feel with a twist. The sense of humour found in the little conversations you can have is similarly eclectic, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it immensely. Gameplay is simple enough, move, interact, melee, shoot etc. There are plenty of context sensitive actions as well, hacking and so forth, and a huge number of ways you can interact with the environment.
Due to the nature of the game (permadeath mainly) I was unable to glean much in the way of plot, save for a few mutterings about the vague goal of climbing through the city to get the top, but to be quite frank I wasn’t that fussed. I was immediately enjoying the smooth feel of the game, the crisp and satisfying interactions, and the music that fits oh so perfectly. You start off with a tutorial, in which you are introduced to the rough frame of the game, and the controls. The irreverent humour of the game is most apparent here I would say, which isn’t to say it’s lacking later, but there’s definitely less of it.
You then go to your home base, which is essentially your game menu, allowing you to tweak your loadouts, level ups, stats, and even apply gameplay modifiers (once you’ve unlocked them, obviously). Due to being generally a bit crap, I was feeling quite apprehensive about the permadeath, as I didn’t think I’d get very far. Using the gameplay modifiers though, one may skip entire chunks of levels, allowing you to apply a sort of pseudo checkpoint system, or even disable permadeath entirely (I am a bit proud I haven’t done so).
Finally, you get to play. You have a variety of characters to choose from, I think 11 or 12 initially, but with 26 total once you’ve unlocked them all. They all have wildly different play styles and attributes, and this is one of the things that gives this game a huge amount of replayability. Obviously, another feature that increases replayability is the procedurally generated levels, wherein no 2 playthroughs will be alike. This was a little frustrating for me early on (see above: am a bit crap) because I couldn’t just barrel through each section to the next once I knew what was going on, because obviously each one is different. I eventually got on board though, and now really enjoy finding new layouts and areas.
I started off with the default ‘slum dweller’ class, played through a bit and thought I was getting the hang of it. Then I accidentally picked the soldier class and realised I was essentially playing a different game. The addition of firearms really opened up my options and I was able to run and gun through a few of the earlier levels. Eventually (am. crap.) I figured out that the classes were all completely different, and had a blast trying them out. The gorilla: big focus on punching and hand to hand, the assassin: gives the game a MGS feel, the hacker: lets you remotely access computers instead of having to be next to them. It just really lets you take the game in different directions as you want, and it’s done really well.
The game is split into 5 levels, each with 3 stages. The ultimate aim is to progress through the levels, and each stage has several main missions to complete before you can progress, along with an optional ‘big mission’ that spans the entire level. The main missions are randomly generated with the levels, but the big mission is unique (I believe) to each character.
The general atmosphere of the game is quite fun, the soundtrack is energetic and changes frequently enough you don’t get bored of it. The sound effects are solid and satisfying, and as mentioned above, the interactions with the NPCs are nothing to write home about, but they’re enjoyable enough to keep you entertained and clicking on them.
Additionally, the game developer also seems to be quite active in the community, responding to questions and suggestions for improvements, and the game seems to be regularly updated with content, including a recent level editor which allows players to create their own levels. There are also a bunch of features I haven’t covered here, like the multiplayer (online/local coop and pve I believe) and obviously the vast swathe of gameplay modifiers (or ‘mutators’).
Streets of Rogue
This is a game that shows you what it’s got, but leaves it up to you to figure out how it works. I would have liked a little bit more in the way of instructions maybe, but that’s probably my biggest gripe with it. The base concept is one that has been tried and tested and works great, the animations are smooth and satisfying, and the overall feeling is just of fun. I wouldn’t say it breaks new ground, I’ve seen and played a few other similar games (despite not realising it was even a type of game), but I think this one is definitely worth a look into. A lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday.
- Fun to play
- Quirky style
- Doesn’t really explain what’s going on all the time
- Can be frustrating at points
- Almost too much stuff to do
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0