Rogue Stormers is a side scrolling twin stick shooter, with a medieval setting. Featuring 4 player couch and online co-op, rogue like elements and 7 increasingly challenging levels. Does Rogue Stormers have what it takes to storm its way in to your game collection? Read our review below to find out..
The medieval metropolis of Ravensdale has discovered goop, and the people of the oil-rig city have gone absolutely bonkers for it. Goop provides energy, skin cream, bread spread, and even powers diesel engines. But goop is not without a downside. Its turning the population of Ravensdale into monsters with a penchant for blood. Its up to you to lead a rag tag crew of knights on a killing spree to save the city in this classic run’n’gun inspired rogue-like twin stick shooter.
Rogue Stormers offers a single player campaign and boasts that players can choose from 5 classes that cater to different play styles. Each class is linked to a character and comes equipped with a special weapon, active ability, and class specific bonuses. Unfortunately, 4 of the classes are locked in the beginning and require completion of specific missions to gain access to the respective characters. Regardless of how you’d like to play the game, you’re going to have to trudge through with what you are initially offered until you unlock something more your style.
Each character can be leveled up to 60 and progression through each level allows you to unlock a perk via a randomized slot machine that will stay with your character despite permadeath. Unlike traditional leveling systems, Rogue Stormers chooses to have character xp appear on the map as small blue orbs. The orbs can be found randomly scattered about the level or occasionally dropped by fallen foes and collecting them gradually fills a small blue bar on the player’s HUD. Its an interesting idea in theory, but in practice it takes so long to garner enough xp to be beneficial that it winds up being a forgettable mechanic.
Rogue Stormers offers both offline and online co-op play up to 4 players. And thank goodness for it as the difficulty of the game is quite excessive for single players just starting out without any of the leveling perks. Having a friend grab a second controller or searching online for a team makes tackling the massive hordes of orcs the game throws at you a more manageable experience. While the constant onslaught of enemies can make the game excessively difficult for single players that are just starting out, it also ensures that for the more experienced fans of the genre that the action never lulls.
Black Forest Games has really excelled in the area of level design with Rogue Stormers, as the procedurally generated levels manage to keep each replay fresh and exciting while simultaneously flowing so well that you forget it was all pieced together randomly. This helps take the sting out of the multiple replays that are inevitable thanks to permadeath. The controls for the game are responsive and relatively simple, relying on the controller’s thumb sticks to move, aim and shoot. Special abilities and dashing are mapped to the bumpers, and interactions are carried out using Y and A. My only complaint in this area is the developer’s decision to make the left trigger the ‘jump’ button, which as a matter of personal opinion, feels a bit unnatural.
Rogue Stormers is at its best when being tackled cooperatively but even this mode is not without its hiccups. Character selection in co-op is still tied to the player’s story progression, meaning if the player wants a character class other than Brecht they will be required to make some headway in single player first. “Quick Join” co op is anything but, resulting in some hefty wait times while searching for a game. this could be improved as the game’s player base grows, however. The wait to find a server can also be bypassed by having a group of friends with the game that are ready to play. Co-op missions play in an identical manner to single player missions, which is a plus. Unfortunately, during co-op matches the camera stays focused on the session’s host. If the group isn’t communicating or paying particular attention it is easy for someone to be left off screen.