I’ve played a lot of rogue-likes over the last year or two. Some of them were good, like Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac, while others, like Tower of Guns and Spelunky, simply weren’t fun to me. I’m sad to say that Rogue Stormers falls into the latter category for one simple reason: I couldn’t have fun while playing. Simply put, Rogue Stormers has a lot of the things that makes Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac great while also suffering from the same issue all rogue-likes are at risk of suffering from: being repetitive.
While some games take advantage of this by having players learn enemy patterns/placement or simply learning new ways to get around a level, rogue-likes that change the level every time you play can’t make use of either of these benefits. Rogue Stormers forces players to figure out their surroundings each time they restart, which would be fine if there was much variation. Maybe I’m not seeing the changes, but it sure feels like there aren’t many enemy types or room setups, leading to multiple runs that feel more like trudging through the same steps only to learn where enemies and items are each time.
At the very least, the game is rather pretty and offers something to look at as players shoot countless goblins. The backgrounds and enemies are all bright and vibrant as players make their way around the level. On the audio side of things, the game tries to keep a sense of high action nearly all the time by having fast music compliment the sheer number of goblins getting shot at any given time. If not for anything else, Rogue Stormers manages to keep players shooting almost all the time. If just shooting goblins is enough for you, then grinding through level after level of goblins shouldn’t be a problem. Now, I may have made it seem like there is only one way to shoot goblins, but this simply isn’t true.
There are several secondary weapons that can be used (to great effect, I might add) on the enemies of the levels. These weapons can be used until they break and will not be retained on multiple playthroughs. There are also temporary buffs players can find that only last a single playthrough. In contrast, players can level up their characters in order to purchase permanent upgrades once that character has received enough XP from killing goblins. I’m not trying to make it sound like there isn’t much to do, but beyond shooting goblins, opening chests and killing bosses, there isn’t much else to do. This wouldn’t be a problem, but making real progress feels slow and tedious.
Part of this tedium can be dealt with by having up to 4 players shooting goblins all at the same time. I didn’t get to do this much myself, but when I did, it was fun seeing all the bullets flying every which way. This coop is available in couch coop and online coop for those that only play online. I feel like I failed to mention that the controls are a little strange but work perfectly fine otherwise. In fact, Rogue Stormers does wonderfully when it comes to working as intended. What I mean by this is that the controls are tight and responsive. This is very appreciated as many games have very floaty controls or buttons that don’t do it’s intended job. Even with all this, I still simply didn’t have that much fun and could not find anything to hold on to in the plot.
All in all, the gameplay is smooth and easy to play. I feel like this game will be really fun for a group of friends that don’t mind repetiveness.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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