Rogues Like Us Early Access Review

Rogues like us is a charming game, containing a fresh visual style and an effective soundtrack. As you play through each level it’s difficult not to feel refreshed by the considerable uniqueness captured by its usage of polygonal figures and vibrant colour palette. However, despite its visual grandeur the game seemingly lack much substance within its level design and boss fights. There is plenty of variety of its customization options but the sense of repetition approached too quickly and too soon.

Rogues Like Us blends Hack-and-slash combat with camerawork inspired by classic dungeon crawling games. Your character must traverse a connected set of small areas, usually located within forest regions. As you run between these open areas, the doors will shut close and won’t open again until all enemies are destroyed. Each enemy has a separate set of skill, ranging from melee attacks and ranged weaponry. The further you progress enemy numbers of different types quickly increase and this makes battles become more and more challenging and the level of satisfaction you gain further increases because of how well the game builds upon each level.

What is easily one of the games best aspects comes from its visual style. Every object, including the characters, enemies, and trees are constructed from flat surfaces and their textures and colour palette help to make this seemingly dated technique feel immediately refreshing and unique. The same could also be said for the enemy designs and bosses, which have a playful look to them and battling them is a pleasure on that alone. The visuals are also accompanied by a relaxing soundtrack which blends in well with the environments and between fights.

Combat also has some impressive features as well. Alongside the player’s basic swinging attack, they could also perform a ground pound that pushes enemies back and can fire a powerful beam of energy that could cause huge damage to enemies. These special abilities are measured through a separate metre which continuously fills up. if these moves are used too many times the meter will deplete and will need to refill. This technique prevents fights from becoming too over-the-top and put players more at risk from enemies. Throughout each level, players can pick up different weapons that each have different characteristics to them. Broadswords, for example, are among the faster weapons to pick up, while two-handed hammers and pickaxes are slower but do increased damage. This looting system also contributes to the game’s customisation options. Between each dungeon, players could visit a hub area, which has a number of NPCs to talk to and several stores to allow players to equip unlocked armour pieces. The armour customisation choices are extensive and it’s exciting to be able to unlock a brand new set of each layer and the different colour dyes you can apply to each of them is just as satisfying.

Controls can be inconsistent. scrolling through options and other lists like armour upgrades and colour dyes are accessed through using the arrow keys, while combat relies entirely on the mouse. Your character swings in the direction of your mouse and special abilities are used from the keyboard. It feels odd at first and using the mouse in this way could have some getting use too. You may find yourself initially getting frustrated that your character is swinging in the wrong direction but in the end, you could still get use to it.Despite the game’s fresh take on visuals the repetition of battles can set in quickly. While the environments become increasingly sinister, they eventually begin to lose their charm, mainly due to how similar the levels are to each other. They mostly consist of open areas for combat that are briefly connected by small corridors and because of this the levels felt overplayed, no longer giving the same sense of wonder and pleasure that they once did. The boss battles also lose a lot of their steam quickly. While some of them are visually spectacular, their introductions are shallow and it’s easy to exploit some of their move sets.

Rogues like us is charming and boasts an impressive visual style but in the end, it becomes increasingly repetitive as its level designs feel similar to each other despite their changes in the atmosphere. Boss battles can be easy to exploit and aren’t particularly memorable, and controls can initially be frustrating. There is a satisfying amount of customisation and the game provides plenty of awards throughout each level. There is a lot to like but there is some left to be desired.

REVIEW CODE: A PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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