When it rains, it pours
Risk of Rain 2 is the follow-up to a 2D roguelike called Risk of Rain. No surprises so far. However, unlike its predecessor, Risk of Rain 2 is a 3D roguelike, making it one of the rare cases of a game literally adding an entire dimension to the formula. It plays a lot like a third-person shooter for the most part, though with all the added items, level-ups, and unlockables that you would expect from a roguelike. There are a few things that make this particular roguelike stand out though, and they are why you should play it. On top of all of the below reasons, it’s also fantastic in co-op, just saying.
It’s got a cool half-plant/half-robot
It’s called Rex, and the plant half absorbs health from enemies while the robot half uses its health to attack. It also runs by burrowing underground and using its roots to dash forwards. The thing is, all of the characters feel as interesting as that. Each of them plays in a completely different way, and that makes unlocking them worthwhile, but also exciting. You never know what the next character will be, and you can never be 100% sure that you’re playing as the best character either. Plus, new characters get added every other update or so, which is nice.
You can customise your abilities
On top of the interesting characters, you can now also change the abilities that each of them uses. The changes range from being completely different special attacks, to more subtle things like changing the kind of damage dealt. Each of these has to be unlocked though, and to do so requires a fair bit of commitment. One of the challenges asks you to beat a level without taking damage, for example. It’s the kind of thing that adds hours upon hours to the lifespan of the game, and it’s not like there’s a lack of things to do anyway.
The items are wonderful
Power-ups and items in roguelikes are one of the key things that keep them interesting. The ability to change how a character feels thanks to special items is an integral part of many of the best roguelikes, and Risk of Rain 2 absolutely kills it in that regard. You’ve still got items like attack speed boosts, or better healing, but you’ve also got some incredibly over-the-top ones like a tesla coil that automatically shocks enemies, and a rocket launcher that makes all of your attacks explosive. Perhaps the coolest thing about them though, is that they all appear on your character, which makes for some very eccentric looks by the time you finish a run.
The aesthetic is stunning
I don’t just mean the looks either. While the visuals do have something of a classic cel-shaded feel to them, and the enemies are wonderfully designed, the standout thing for me, at least, is the music. Every track is worthy of its own anime music video, and the things that Chris Christodoulou does with instruments and technology border on being magic. Actual witchcraft. As the ukelele in the game says, “his music was electric”, it just Slaps.
It’s getting updated at the end of the month
On top of all of this goodness, the fact that Risk of Rain 2 is still in Early Access means that it’s still getting updated. The best news is that it’s getting the next update on 31st March, and will include Artifacts, which were game-altering items you could find in hidden areas in the first game. My personal favourite let you choose every item that dropped, meaning you could build some absurd stuff. There will also be new bosses, items, enemies, and a new stage too. It’s all very exciting, but if you start playing now, you should have unlocked all of the characters by the time the update hits.
If you want to know about the other great roguelikes about at the moment, then just read our article, and you shall be enlightened.
Jason is the Editor of The Indie Game Website. He’s a lover of roguelikes, soulslikes, and other kinds of likes. He basically spends a lot of time getting beaten up in games and seems to enjoy it.