Monday, August 7, 2017

Streets of Rogue (Early Access)

title menu art for the game

Rating: 8
Happy Price: 9.99


I'm going to start off acknowledging that this is an early access game, but it seems many indie games today are in the early access stage and never leave it. If it's out for the public to play, I believe it's fair to review. That being said, Streets of Rogue is very polished from a technical stand point but it's very evident the game is not finished. 

The title of the game says it all, it's a rogue style procedurally generated world that takes place in the streets of three distinct locations. Each level gets progressively more difficult, but it's up to the player to accumulate enough items and wealth to make sure they are ready for the next level. The more you play, and die, the better you get and eventually can make it through all nine levels. Each play through earns you chicken nuggets, which can be used in a variety of ways that help the player get through all the stages. 

Certain mutators can make characters large, this has a large gangster

Character Selection

The most important part of your run is the character that is selected because every character has a specialty that will determine the best approach to different situations. There are several ways to approach a mission which gives this game its luster, but certain characters need to approach missions according to their specialties if they want to see success. For example, the gangster character starts off with an automatic weapon while the hacker only starts off with a remote hacking tool. The way these two characters approach their first mission is completely different. The gangster can easily overpower the characters in the first level, while the hacker will have to use more creative tactics. By achieving certain things each run, more characters can be unlocked that have even more distinct abilities. For example the Vampire can regenerate health when attacking from behind, because the Vampire has a distinct attack where it sucks blood. The Gorilla can punch people through walls, but can't talk to anyone, etc. Everyone will have different favorite characters that compliment their play style. For me, the Hacker is the most powerful character.

You can now create a character in streets of rogue


Streets of Rogue is driven by top down combat. There are tons of weapons available to choose from but a pistol and shotgun will handle most situations. Because the environment is destructible, it is very fun to use grenades, rocket launchers, and bombs but they are expensive and usually need to be rewarded for winning a mission. These huge weapons that cause destruction also bring attention to you, so if you decide to go this route making a huge commotion, be ready to handle the consequences. The NPC's can hate you so much, that police officers and gangsters will attack you together. Melee combat is very simple, when swinging a weapon it can either be blocked or not. I typically just make sure I'm timing my hits right, and go at it for as long as possible until I win. There isn't a counter or parry system in place. You'll either hit the opponent or not.

Not every character is great with weapons however. Some characters rely on gaining party members to do the dirty work for them. These characters consist of traits that help allies, and basically you become a passenger in many situations but you don't have to hurt anyone. You're just the mastermind getting other people to do things for you. The hacker can hack almost anything in the game including refrigerators and turrets. This makes it fun because a refrigerator can "run" which makes it run at a constant velocity until it hits an indestructible piece of material. But it will destroy everything in its path until that happens. This allows the hacker to gain access to locked areas and treasure chests that would have otherwise been very difficult to get to.

The world is on fire in Streets of Rogue, maybe a flamethrower or grenade


I'm a sucker for games that use 2D pixel art. They are a reminder of the past when games were more simple and contained. Today though, modern game engines allow combining endless possibilities with that same art style. Pixel art is hard, and if you look closely this game has many assets like brick walls, stools with great shadows, animated fire, and walls that blow up. There aren't many animated assets to worry about, most characters just move their legs and their arms. There are some environmental animations like fire coming from vents and fire hydrants spewing water. The good thing about that was the focus on the content itself. Everything has detail which gives the game a cohesive feel.


There is no story, this is just a rogue runner at the moment. Dialogue can be witty at times, but there isn't any character investment. I don't really know why I'm trying to get to the end of the level, aside that I'm apart of a resistance. I think there is potential here for a simple story and even a boss battle at the end. However, I don't know what the developer has plans for. 

The end screen of streets of rogue, the game is not finished


If you are looking to take a break from 3d open world games which have saturated the market like fidget spinners, then this game is a good option. A successful run can take between 90-120 minutes so there will be a time investment. Last I checked, you can't save in the middle of a run, so you need to block time out if you're going to play. There is tons of replayability and the game forces you to play certain ways to unlock new characters. That alone keeps me coming back, along with all the weapons and creative ways to win the game.

Design: 9
Sound: 8
Art: 9
Story: 5
Engineering: 9

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