Rogue troopers is an action, twin-stick shooter indie game released on Steam 21st April 2016. It was developed and published by Black Forest Games, who were responsible for the other popular indie steam game Giana Sisters. Rogue Stormers is about a group of knights that went rogue during the invasion of Ravensdale. With monsters taking over the medieval metropolis, players must delve into the deep mines of the oil rig city of Ravensdale and save the city from the mutated inhabitants that infest it.
Players will find that the game offers an enormous diary of plot, giving context to the otherwise linear storytelling that the game offers. Rogue Stormers gives a satisfying enough arc of the story for players to be interested in investigating the backstory of both the city and the knights they play. Black Forest Games combines the classic run n game genre with platforming, modern art style and a sizeable difficulty that will give even the most veteran players of Metal Slug, Metroid and Contra a challenge. Rogue Stormers is a game that adds layers and level parts to create level combinations that offer replayability and boasts five different classes which all alter how the game is played. Without a doubt, Rogue Stormers is one of the most refined and unique twin-stick indie shooters on the steam platform.
In Rogue Stormers you have the single player mode, couch play and multiplayer mode. Each mode offers a different experience of the game as couch play and multiplayer offers more enemies and strategy as you and your friends play different characters that can offer abilities. Each complement one another as they can either fire with guns or fire rockets/goop. The core gameplay of Rogue Stormers involve you platforming and shooting through a variety of randomly generated levels as the game offers a total of seven levels. Every two levels there is a boss with the final level having a set boss. Anything before that can be completely changed, bosses can be mixed and switched meaning that you would not always have the same experience. The classes offer a variety of firepower as some have weaknesses while boasting enormous strength. Weapons in the game feel extremely fun and impactful as enemies are turned into a cloud of gore with hails of bullets and rockets being fired at them. With the game world modeled in 3D and the classic orc, goblins and medieval metropolis, the game really stands out by adding unlockable through every play through that can boost the character’s stats such as health, range and damage. Each one of these are unlocked as perks that are a permanent boost to the character while in-level upgrades as a temporary boost until the players die.
However, while the game boosts fantastic gun gameplay, platforming and movement. The game stands to a halt as a single death can send players straight back to the beginning of the game. This is more of a problem with single player as the multiplayer aspect allows players the ability to revive one another. This is where the game defines its difficulty not so much in the mechanics or random level design, but the game design choice to punish players so harshly by sending them back to the beginning of the game. The decision to add a single-player campaign mode where the player only has one life adds a hardcore aspect that more casual run n gun players will find difficult adapting to as the learning curve is often predetermined by whether you can find health, gold (to buy in-game weapons/health) or entirely by the character level/stats. There is also no in-game difficulty adjustment either, so the game offers the one difficulty.
One of the highlights of this game was the unique art style that they chose along with the game world created to compliment it. The graphics are so vivid and enjoyable to witness as your character dashes across the screen and causes various amounts of black holes, shotgun shells and other weapon upgrades players can use to alt-fire with. Rogue Stormers take a page from the Borderlands book when it comes to the upgrades, perks and weapon pick-ups. With each character having a primary fire, weapon pick-ups offer unique and vastly fun effects that complement the situation. The sensation of using a black hole to pull an entire screen of enemies towards it is gratifying to say the least. It is because of the vivid art style and 3D game world that was modeled that the weapons, movements and game feels so fun and enjoyable to play because it can offer replayability and each run through the game offers a new approach. However, while permanent perks are always handy. The perks require an enormous amount of time to grind. The random drop system often gives the same items as you will find that your life will depend on whether a slot-machine drops health or ammo. This adds to the tedious perma-death feature that punishes the player so harshly. The slow grind to get permanent perks is only cemented further when players whom aren’t able to progress through the game cannot unlock all the characters.
In conclusion, Rogue Stormers is a unique action shooter that offers an enormous amount of replayability, customization and a unique vibrant art style complimented by the music and tight controls the game offers. The five characters each feel unique, enjoyable and balanced as they add flavor and depth to the game. Black Forest develops the game with simplistic linear storytelling but allows players to investigate the lore and world of the game through finding news articles that explains the events of the city. However, casual players of the shooter genre will find the difficulty curve of the game challenging while the permanent-death feature of the game may provide hardcore players with a rush. The amount of grinding required to unlock permanent perks can frustrate players as they can expect replaying the first level several times to level up their character. Rogue Stormers is a compelling indie action game that is well worth the price but fully comes to life when it is played as a co-op.
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