Risk of Rain, the breakout Rogue-like side-scrolling adventure romp of about five years ago is back, and it adds a whole new dimension to it, literally. Risk of Rain 2 is here, and has bust out of the walls of 2D to become a full-blown 3D shooter. Does it manage to bring depth to an already well-loved game, or does it, ironically, fall flat?
Risk of Rain 2 follows the same theme of the first game in that it’s basically an item search with increasingly overwhelming waves of enemies. You still get to unlock and use different classes with their own abilities to try and survive for as long as you can. It’s extremely simple, and has a surprising amount of replay value.
The game starts with a character selection screen where, if it’s your first time out, will have a single hero, the all-arounder Commando class. From this screen, you can also add up to three other friends to your party, something we recommend, as the experience is much better when shared. A quick load screen later, and you’re in the beautifully rendered, 3D cell-shaded environment. It might not be Anthem-esque in its landscapes, but the cell-shaded treatment gives it a charm that’s all its own. Soon, enemies start warping in from the void, and what is initially a nice romp in a new 3D world creeps towards something more akin to a 3D bullet hell.
Monotony is broken through the appearance of a few different environments, each with its own set of varied opponents with their own set of abilities. Fliers, small hoards, teleporting demons, and charging buffalo all show up to try and ruin your day, all while you try to get kills for points to buy items, search for chests for more items, and try to uncover the location of the level’s teleporter. Triggering the same will unleash a boss or three, depending on the difficulty the game has progressed to, and killing the bosses lets you move to the next level where you get to do everything all over again.
It might sound a little boring, but trust us, it’s not. The item hunt is where the game is at, and there are loads of items for you to grab. They all work together in odd and satisfying synergies that compliment your own character abilities, so you can go from vulnerable squishy hero to deadly bullet tornado in very short order.
Speaking of deadly bullet tornadoes, you get unlock and choose from various classes. From the Genji-esque Ninja, to the robotic Bastion, and turret-building engineer, along with several others, you’re bound to find a hero that suits your playstyle. To the game designer’s credit, getting through each level does change wildly depending on the class you pick, increasing replayability significantly. Being an early access title though, there are only a handful of levels and enemies for the moment, and it can happen, though not frequently, that once you’ve amassed enough items, you become practically invincible, even with the game at highest difficulty. This is bound to change, given the overwhelming support the game has received, with more than a million downloads just a month after the game suddenly appeared in the Steam store. Even in its early access state, it’s already loads of fun, and not something you should miss if you’re a fan of this kind of gameplay.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE June 2019 Issue