Grinding for gears, among other things.
Rogue Stormers has been through some pretty drastic development changes over the course of a few years. Developer Black Forest Games has been working on the title for a long time now, and after a brief name change and a few gameplay tweaks, it is finally fully released on Steam. After putting some time into it I see what they are going for, and for the most part, it works, but it does have a few issues here and there.
The game is a Rogue-like twin stick shooter where the levels are randomly generated along with enemy placement and weapon upgrades. Players will traverse a level while firing with the right thumb stick, eventually shooting their way to the end of the level and taking on a boss encounter.
Price I’d pay: $15
Multiplayer: Up to 4 player co-op online and local
Along the way, players can find treasure chests that may contain gold, health, sub-weapons, and other things. There are also gamble chests where players can use gold collected to acquire random things. It could be health pickups, a new sub-weapon, or even experience points.
Experience points are one of the more rare items in the game. Leveling up will get the character the player is using a new passive skill that will stay with them permanently. These are where the progression begins and ends. If playing solo, when a player dies it’s back to the main menu, where they must start a new run. Since the levels are randomly generated, it’s never the same dungeon twice.
Sub-weapons are what make or break a run. Finding these random weapons will offer up some great damage outputs, and each one has its own unique combinations. These weapons use ammo, unlike the standard firing with the right stick. They can come in the form of drones that follow the player around, a goop gun that shoots sticky stuff that slows enemies and damages them, or even a black hole gun. These add a lot to the game overall, and help out on one of those difficult runs.
It plays fine and is a very competent twin stick shooter, but at first glance, people would think this is a run and gun kind of game. Unfortunately, it does actually fit that mold due to even the weakest of enemies taking numerous shots to take down. So instead of blasting enemies and constantly moving forward, I ended up having to hold my ground and unload on a pack on enemies while jumping occasionally to dodge incoming bullets. It slows the pace of the game down to a crawl many times.
While it wasn’t predominate, I did experience some rather hardcore slow down when multiple things were happening on screen. It was just enough to hinder my actions a bit during the more challenging gunfights.
On top of all this, there is a full on co-op mode, both local and online, where everything plays about the same, but instead of instant restart when dying, my co-op partners can revive me when gathering enough healing pickups. It helps to have some friends in Rogue Stormers.
Originally, I was a bit down on this game. I played co-op with a friend and it was slightly boring to me. Sure, it wasn’t broken or buggy, but I wasn’t really feeling the action and it was honestly a difficult time even with a co-op partner, but after putting some more time into it and really digging into the perk system along with the sub-weapons, I found myself enjoying it a lot more.
Rogue Stormers isn’t going to blow your socks off by any means, but there is still some fun to be had, once you level up your characters and start experimenting with the sub-weapons. Add in a couple of friends to play with and you’re in for a decent time for at least a few hours. The grind may eventually get to you, but along the way, there can be some fun in there.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.