October 8th, 2016 - Jason
The popularity of roguelike-like games has seemingly diminished a bit, but people still love the idea of randomly generated levels and worlds, as it seemingly gives an endless amount of content for the player. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. While games developed this way are usually with the best of intentions, they don’t always pan out that way. For example, No Man’s Sky procedurally generated content isn’t exactly getting the praise it did prior to release for the seemingly unlimited content within. So does Rogue Stormers pull off what No Man’s Sky couldn’t?
When I first saw gameplay of RS, I thought “hey cool, a platforming shooter for my wife and I!” Upon booting it up for the first time with her, we were tasked with figuring out what the buttons did and what exactly we were supposed to be doing. Without any real knowledge of the game prior to playing, I figured out that the characters you play as are unlockable and the word Rogue in the title would define what the game would play like. After I died, my wife tried to revive me and ended up quitting the game to play Overcooked. First impressions were grim.
I tried it again solo later on, thinking there may be a bit more direction as there usually is for single player. Indeed, I was told throughout the opening what the different buttons did, and the basics of the game kind of fell into place. You know, the usual: kill things, don’t die – pretty standard for this type of game. I guess I just got lost in the chaos when playing with my wife. There are a handful of levels per playthrough denoted whenever you move from level to level, so you can beat the game in a couple hours.
While the game’s mechanics work well enough for what it wants to do, it’s hard to say it really innovates or does any of it better than anything else. That’s not to say that it’s bad, but it doesn’t exactly blow smoke up my figurative skirt. While leveling a character for the next run and getting further the next time you play is the main draw, there isn’t much else to keep you playing, unlike titles such as Rogue Legacy or Binding of Isaac. There’s something about those games that this one lacks, which is a bit disappointing.
As mentioned previously, the game is simple enough to understand. You’ll do your standard platforming, 360 degree shooting, and collect items to gain new perks and abilities. You’ll face waves of enemies. Waves. Wave after wave… it’s never ending, actually, if you give it time. Move on and head back and it’s as if you had never been there. It’s a bit of a callback to older games, but not for this genre. In a way, it almost feels like the game thinks that difficulty is determined by the amount of enemies on the screen. Sadly, this is almost the only way you will die, as there isn’t enough room to actually avoid being hit – enemies aren’t all that difficult, just plentiful.
At a glance, this looked like something that would be right up my alley. Even finding out later that it was a roguelike-like, it should’ve been a hook, line, and sinker sort of situation. I love games that break into that subgenre, and in a platforming world, I know it works well. And that’s exactly why it’s so sad that I wasn’t pulled in by the stormers. The game looks fine, but lacks a sense of charm. It doesn’t have a unique pull to keep you coming back over and over. If you’re looking for a deep, platforming experience with randomly generated levels, you’ll find part of that here. But in all likelihood, it’ll leave you wanting to play something else that does it better.
- Competent Gameplay
- Enemy Waves Equal Difficulty
- No Unique Draw
Rogue Stormers was developed and published by Black Forest Games. The game officially launched on PC September 8th, 2016 as well as X1 and PS4 October 4th, 2016 for $19.99. The game was provided to us for review on PS4. If you’d like to see more of Rogue Stormers, check out the official site.
Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.