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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Risk of Rain PC Review - 8.8/10

Risk of Rain is an action/adventure, 2D side scroller with 'rouge like elements'. What that basically means is you're a tiny blip fight immensely larger blips with guns and other weapons. This is one of those games that completely went under my radar because I heard nothing about it in any gaming circuits and as soon as I played it I wondered why.

The Good:
The graphics are in that retro bit. Its to the point where I have to ask myself what bit it is because I have no immense knowledge of the differences. Though if I had to put my money on it, I'd say 64. Game runs smoothly, I've had no problems and that's always a good thing especially in a fast paced game like this.
I never thought I'd like perma-death but it actually works here. Basically you're on a planet at level one and stuff just... happens. Your main goal is to kill monsters while picking up items to help you survive (basically like perks) and find a portal, activate it, kill the boss and all other monsters. Where the formula is jostled is where the game gets increasingly harder each time you spend too long in one area. Problem is, all the enemies in the next area are also tougher. So you're going to spend a mad rush killing anything in your way as fast as you can, get xp and items while killing the boss as fast as possible. You're also rewarded for doing certain things like killing a number of monsters or finishing a level under a certain amount of time. They're like achievements but they don't barrage you every few seconds.
The items in here are awesome. Ranging to passive to using them, each one is awesome in their own way. There's a few ways you can get them whether from buying them with the money gained from slaughtered monsters or finding them just lying around at times. Not every item is 100% useful to you, so you'll be experimenting in game seeing which ones you like best and which ones work best for your specific character. The slow moving Enforcer may want something that speeds him up or lets him jump higher for a passive and maybe a set of homing weapons for a use. As far as I've seen, there's no limit to passive items but use items are limited to one, making you choose between which items are actually beneficial to you.
The monsters look really great. They all have a distinct look and if you need to distinguish between different types of the same variety, they do look different like an extra tint or some aura look about them.

The Bad:
The game really doesn't explain anything other than, "This is how you shoot and this is how you move." I went through every single playthrough without looking at the instructions not given to you in game to see how easy it was. About the second playthrough, I found and forgot how to use items but gained it back in the other ones. I know games way back when didn't tell you how to play them but we are behind that. I don't know why people say tutorials are the worst thing. Annoying tutorials are annoying. I can't really harp on this seeing as there is probably a bind keys somewhere, but something as simple as 'Use Item' shouldn't really be left out of the equation.
Enemies simply spawn around you. This became increasingly frustrating during one boss further in the game who uses these pillars to trap you. Problem is, I was trapped in with a bunch of powerful enemies and every so often another would spawn in.
Speaking of the game not really teaching you much, I have no idea how to unlock the other characters. There are about ten characters you can unlock and play as, each differ from the next. So far I've only got two. Problem is, nowhere I've looked I can find the requirements to unlock any new characters, I just did only one by accident. I was the furthest I've been then I died, then I restarted a new game with the knowledge the game gets harder by the minute yet died early on and then got the character. Again the with outdated use of 'Find it out yourself.' That's not fun, at all.

The Meh:
Your character model is so tiny is hardly noticeable. Aside from picking whatever character you've unlocked and zeroing in on your screen to get a glimpse, there's not really much you can tell. Minor issue thought that I feel has little to do with the final product.
The timer is a good concept but I'd like to be able to have the option to turn it off. Even at the risk of a penalty in game is fine as well. Again, minor issue.

All in all I think Risk of Rain is fun and new to me. Its available on Steam for pretty cheap so check it out if you're into slightly difficult gameplay and lots of avenues of discovery.

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