I don't have any significant news to share this week, and yet I'm trying to blog more frequently than twice a month, so as promised, here's a review!
There were a few requests for "my favorite roguelike" and other similar indie game requests, but I'd really like to review Risk of Rain 2 because it's what I'm playing now and it's great.
The first Risk of Rain was one of my favorite games. I'm not a completion player, but I played that one to 100% several times because you unlock new things as you complete achievements.
It was a 2D platformer with light roguelike elements, which here means your whole run ended when you died, so you had to start over, and the levels were randomly arranged (though not randomly generated). Basically, you ran through each level killing enemies and collecting items, which were permanent passive buffs to your character. Each character you picked was different, and the items drastically changed how you played, so you ended up with some wildly different builds by the end of the game.
The signature element of the Risk of Rain series is a real-time timer at the top right-hand corner, which steadily ticks up the longer you take. Every second, the game gets harder. So if you spend your time scouring the level for every item, you might get stronger, but your enemies do too. You have to strike a balance between progressing quickly and getting strong enough to handle the next level.
The gameplay sunk its hooks into me pretty much immediately, and I played the crap out of the first game. If my copy were a book, it would be worn and dog-eared, with a broken spine and faded ink.
When they announced a sequel about two years ago, I was delighted! And then they said it would be in 3D, and my heart sank.
There was no way it could be good. Design elements almost never survive the transition from 2D to 3D, and no doubt they knew that, but they wanted to challenge themselves. I could respect that, but I was still disappointed. All I wanted was Risk of Rain 2: More Risk of Rain.
So I paid halfhearted attention to their development over the last couple of years until they surprise released their sequel on Steam about two weeks ago.
Lo and behold, the game is fantastic.
They managed to capture the same feeling as the original, despite having to re-design practically everything to account for a third dimension. The same enemies have new attacks that take advantage of the 3D space, new enemies work with new mechanics, and the shooter gameplay is smooth and well-polished.
It's only in Early Access for now, and I hear they've promised to add an endgame like the last one had. Right now, unless you voluntarily end your run, you just loop levels over and over until the difficulty is so crazy that you have to die.
I can't wait for the ending, which was one of my favorite parts of the old Risk of Rain, but already my friends and I have over 20 hours into it.
Oh, did I mention it's multiplayer up to four players? It is.
Give it a shot.
(2nd in length)
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