It has quite the history. It has it's roots way back in 2007 but through a ton of legal issues and company switches and stuff most of you don't care about it disappeared for a while. It was more recently titled Dieselstormers, but finally got released for Steam as Rogue Stormers in 2014 from Black Forest Games. It did not hit my radar until I saw a preview for it for Xbox. It got released in September and I picked it up pretty quickly.
The game really popped out to me. I really like the art style, and I am a fan of the arcadey games that get released. The game looked like a simple side scrolling action game similar to Metal Slug or Metroid, mixed with the aesthetics of a dieselpunk fantasy world.
The game is described as a run 'n' gun game with roguelike elements. For those of you that don't know, roguelike games are known for procedurally generated levels, simple graphics, and most importantly, permanent death. This means that if you die in the game, you have to start over. If a wave of nostalgia just poured over you, bringing back memories of quarter arcade games and frustrating Nintendo game sessions, then you are in the ballpark. Rogue Stormers also puts in some platforming and RPG elements too, bringing quite the fun mix to the table, or console, or whatever.
|The best doorknocker in the Universe|
|Any game that reminds me of Labyrinth gets bonus points|
I also really like the procedurally generated levels. Each playthrough feels different and you have to find your path through the various obstacles and traps, trying to find the boss room. The bosses all have a very unique and awesome look to them, and the encounters play out very differently too. They all test your abilities and definitely reward pattern recognition.
|Where is a tank trap when you need one?|
I am also very confused at some of the unlockables and achievements. Some of those things require several playthroughs with specific characters. That is quite a grind. Maybe they expect gamers to get really good at this game, but considering how long it took me to beat the game there is no way I'm unlocking all the other stuff. Also, just because you beat it once doesn't mean you'll do it again right away. The game has a lot of luck when it comes to drops. You can fight the first boss and he drops a gold chest, but that chest requires 500 gold, and it's very unlikely you amassed that amount in the first few rooms. So you lose out on an upgrade. Or you just can't get a key to drop from anyone and there are chests everywhere. In order to beat the game I feel like you really need a lot of good perks and that just sometimes doesn't happen. I had a runthrough that started out with 2 very good upgrades that boosted my damage, but lowered my total health. However, I could not find a health upgrade for 2 stages and so my health total was so low that I was killed in only a couple of hits.
|Sure, the rent is high, but you can't put a price on smog|
I must say I really enjoy the gameplay. it is fast and frantic but pretty fair I think. There were many times when I took damage and if I had remembered to dash I could have avoided it. There are times the game feels unfair when it comes to random drops, but that's what you get with these types of games. I really like the perk system and the upgrades as you play. Each playthrough can feel very different depending on what you get, and you have to change your tactics accordingly. The gunplay is smooth and the various weapons really let you feel a punch. I especially love dropping grenades on packs of goblins and watching them explode into tiny bits.
This game is also fairly expensive for what it offers. I feel as though I've gotten my money's worth, but a $20 price tag on what is essentially an old school style game seems a tad high. I know that will be a barrier to many players who already have trouble rationalizing a $60 purchase for a game that has a 10 hour story mode.
However, when all is said and done, I will gladly pick up and play a session of this game. I really enjoy hopping around and killing goblins in a beautiful world.
So, to summarize what I think:
-Procedurally Generated map and random drops keeps the replayability high
-5 different characters play and feel unique
-Beautiful art style and world design and satisfying animation
-Couch co op!
-Too difficult for most people and can be a bit grindy at times
-$20 price tag is a tad high for an arcade game
-Random drops and perks combined with permadeath can feel unfair at times
-Currently it is hard to find players online and for people, who rely on that, might be stuck with single player
Anyway thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this rather long review. Give the game a try! If anyone wants to play leave me a message.