Mar 27, 2017 Last Updated 11:41 AM, Mar 27, 2017
Online Gaming: Valuable Tool For Long-Distance Connections?

Online Gaming: Valuable Tool For Long-Distance Connections?

In a world where technology has become so commonplace that many of us ...

The Arthouse Invasion

The Arthouse Invasion

Now more than ever, the world of Cinema and the world of video games a...

Why Hitman is my game of the year.

Why Hitman is my game of the year.

Overwatch, DOOM, and Dark Souls 3 are just a few of the notable games ...

Streets of Rogue Early Access Review

Published in Adventure
Read 205 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

So Many Choices, So Little Time

Dabrowski's Streets of Rogue instantly reminded me of The Escapists and The Binding of Isaac, and I mean that in the best way possible; the elements of those franchises that I loved are present here, wrapped up in a unique bundle. Streets of Rogue boasts more free-form, RPG-hybrid gameplay, offering a vast lineup of character options (each with unique abilities and different starting gear) and ability bonuses that can be selected as you level up during the missions. I started with the Gangster, which allowed me to summon AI companions to help in combat, and offered me the flexibility of using a boombox as a decoy in a pinch. I later switched to the Thief as my primary choice, after one of the Daily Runs prompted me to use that class type to complete my challenges.

Players can unlock additional characters by filling certain requirements, such as destroying a bunch of tombstones, stealthing a mission without ever being detected, or freeing a gorilla from its cage. I was surprised to see so many options immediately available in an Early Access title, and I hope that means we'll continue to see more added as Streets of Rogue progresses through new updates and versions. The assortment of character types also adds an extra dimension to multiplayer gameplay, since players can choose to combine similar styles or cover all of their bases with a diverse team of co-op toons.

As with other series, like The Escapists, Streets of Rogue offers numerous ways of solving fundamental problems. Players can opt to go head-to-head with AI opponents via combat – and there are plenty of nifty weapons to find and use against each other in the levels – or you can get sneaky and creative in overcoming your obstacles. Since the levels are procedurally generated, with dozens of denizens to serve as enemies (and allies), the experience changes across levels and between playthroughs. That lends tremendous replay value to any saga, and I can see myself and my gaming crew revisiting Streets of Rogue many times due to that degree of fresh, new combinations.

The Multiplayer Dynamic vs. Solo Missions

Streets of Rogue is an Early Access title, so I tolerate persistent bugs and glitches, since these games are still a work-in-progress. Such is the case here, with the multiplayer experience significantly diminished by complications involving accessing servers, hosting lobbies, finding friend's games, and even staying connected to a server after play begins. In every single co-op experience I've had, I've encountered an issue where players connecting to the host de-sync and have to reconnect, thereby starting over from scratch. I experienced this when I wasn't the host as well, and none of our combinations or server settings seemed to impact this issue. It's incredibly frustrating when you're having a blast with friends, only to run into these hang-ups time and time again; however, the fact that my team continued to play despite having to disconnect and return over and over again is its own testimony to how much fun we were having. Streets of Rogue launched with a free weekend, which enabled everyone to download the release and sample it for several days without having to purchase it first, but the launch contained these sorts of co-op impeding issues nonetheless.

Still, assuming that the dev can successfully overcome these hurdles and fix the connectivity issues with the co-op mode [EN: Summoning Runic's Sierra Soliel], Streets of Rogue is exceedingly fun to play with even one other player (or the full team of four). It's even more chaotic, and our group would frequently undo the progress another player had made by inadvertently blowing up the wrong wall or triggering an alarm system. While I would currently issue a word of caution for players picking up this title with the intention of preferring the co-op gameplay to the single-player modes, I hope to see these problems remedied so that I can resume enjoying the hilarious, addictive online multiplayer feature. There's a Local Co-Op mode as well, which seems to run much more smoothly, though the majority of my time was in an online co-op capacity.

This is all to say nothing of the single-player gameplay of Streets of Rogue, which is absolutely worth logged hours. You can lose yourself in the randomness of these procedurally generated levels, and gain experience in different character classes while discovering new items. There's a standard set of levels, each with different objectives – and optional, bonus missions if you find an AI character in the level offering one – plus the added challenge of a Daily Run option, which promises Leaderboards in the future. Each time I leveled up, I had a choice of choosing my preference from a list of three different abilities or perks and was able to customize my character for whichever style of gameplay I happened to be in the mood for at the time. Want to do extra damage when you shank someone from behind? No problem! Want to be able to automatically identify syringes so that you don't inject yourself with acid? Sure thing, buddy! That being said, Streets of Rogue is not an easy trek – when you die, you reset back to Level One and lose all of your bonuses and items, effectively creating a perma-death situation. It isn’t for the faint of heart, but those set-backs just made me more determined to up my game the next time around.

In Conclusion

Few titles can rival Streets of Rogue in versatility, variety, and replay value, and that's rare for an Early Access release. The Feature list on Steam says it all: "Lead a gang, free slaves, drink beer, gib ghosts, become a vampire, shrink people and stomp on them. The most insanely varied game ever made." I found this to be true, and the roster of over twenty character types is just the beginning of the wealth of content. Despite relatively straightforward, pixel-style graphics, and 2D, top-down camera views, Streets of Rogue builds upon the nostalgic charm to create a modern, compelling experience. And while Early Access titles often feel like a dubious prospect, this new release is backed by a Dev who is highly active in the community; there’s even a built-in form for submitting feedback right inside the menu screen.

7

The Verdict

Did I mention the weapons are hilarious? We're talking bear traps, ninja stars, chloroform rags, and other unusual choices, all of which lend perfectly to the crazy shenanigans that go on at any given level of this title. You can rob AI character's refrigerators for healing items (food), rummage around in trash cans, and bust open windows as people peer out at you, then lockpick doors, and hide in cardboard boxes. Go in, guns a' blazing, or sneak up behind someone as a vampire and drink their blood to heal your wounds. The list goes on and on, making the claim that Streets of Rogue is the "world's only RPG RogueLike Action Stealth Shooter Brawler Co-Op Megagame" keenly accurate, and fiercely appealing.

Lori May

Lori is an avid video game enthusiast who enjoys blending her love of gaming with her work as a writer. She first cut her teeth back on the NES and Sega Genesis systems, and continues to be a Retro-gaming advocate with a soft spot for Point-&-Click Adventures. She's also a Survival Horror and Psychological Horror game collector, when she isn't coercing friends into any number of Co-Op multiplayer titles. If she isn't gaming you can find her working as a journalist and social media consultant, or perhaps dabbling in video game design among other hobby-with-big-dreams endeavors. Born in the heart of the Midwest, she's currently living in Colorado, where she prefers to avoid skiing, snowboarding, and other Mile High City attractions.

Related items

  • Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy Review

    Although it succeeds in both maintaining familiarity for fans of the genre and introducing novelty, Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy fails to deliver engaging combat or efficiently introduce players to its unique mechanics. It boasts a solid and engaging story that starts with strong momentum, but suffers from distractions which ultimately hold Operation Abyss back from capitalizing on its strengths, resulting in a title that is simply good, despite clear potential to be great.

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

    Andromeda is robust and delivers effectively on the key elements it advertises, and then goes above and beyond regarding play style tailoring and experienceable customization. That said, the characters look more at home in the Sims 3 era, and the dialog fails to be more than lackluster - cringe-worthy at times. Nevertheless, while Mass Effect: Andromeda proves a quality example of its genres, diehard fans of the Mass Effect universe and its original story should wait until BioWare patches the technical bugs, and the price point lowers.

  • For The King Early Access Review

    For the King is a strategic RPG that features procedurally generated maps, so each playthrough is palpably different from the last. However, the randomness dampens appeal as the results are frequently unforgiving or unjust. The hit to replayability is a shame, as this title has much to offer to the patient – or the masochists. Diehard RPG strategists, however, will appreciate this title.

Latest Shows

For Honor - AAA Anonymous Epi. 11

For Honor - AAA …

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers Ubisoft's PC release of the much anticipated medieval multiplayer...

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book - AAA Anonymous Epi. 10

Atelier Sophie: …

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers Koei Tecmo's PC release of their JRPG, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemi...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee is an all-new open-world platformer from genre veterans Playtonic! Explore huge, beauti...

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

Sniper: Ghost Wa…

Go behind enemy lines with the ultimate modern military shooter. Play as an American sniper dropped ...

STRAFE

STRAFE

STRAFE® is the fastest, bloodiest, deadliest, most adjective-abusing, action-packed first-person sho...

MyWorld Early Access Review

MyWorld Early Ac…

Clunky combat provides shallow gameplay and limited tactical variety, quests are few and repetitive, and progression brings nothing other than higher numbers on your screen. The wo...

Dead Rising 4 Review

Dead Rising 4 Re…

Dead Rising 4 has a bit of an identity crisis. It neither commits to the open-world aspect enough to be considered exemplary in the genre, nor does it deliver enough of the mainsta...

The Final Specimen: Arrival Review

The Final Specim…

Final Specimen: Arrival does not take any risks with plot. It is, mechanically, a platformer, reminiscent of the 90s, but nothing new or special is presented. The protagonist, for ...

Blink Review

Blink Review

With bursts of pressure, ethereal atmosphere, and engaging soundtrack, Blink brings style and originality to your standard design in puzzle-platforming. If you’re a fan of the genr...

Open Sorcery Review

Open Sorcery Rev…

Open Sorcery present fresh ideas and a great premise. The gameplay is fleshed out, and each character adds to the enjoyment of the story. There are even thought-provoking concepts ...

Danmaku Unlimited 3 Review

Danmaku Unlimite…

Flexible in its appeal to those new to the bullet hell subgenre of shoot-em-ups and to those hardened master grazers, Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a solid entry in Doragon Entertainment’...