Risk of Rain – Game Review

Posted on 2/27/2014 by with 0 comments

Risk of Rain
Hopoo games
Publisher: Chucklefish

Hey all, it’s Miguel and it’s time for another game review.  Risk of Rain is up next on the chopping block.  A 2d platform shooter set in space, Risk of Rain jazzes it up a bit by adding the roguelike element of permanent death.  When you die, and dying can be oh so easy in this game, it’s game over—respawning is for the weak (or for those who find the appropriate item).

Risk of Rain was created by Hopoo games, comprised of a team of two students and was funded via Kickstarter.

RoR1-Crash_miguelWhy do they call it Risk of Rain anyway?

Gameplay

  • Great shoot-em up action
  • Battle tons of enemies at a time
  • Lots of unlockables
  • Awesome replay value
  • Local and online multiplayer
  • No save function

Risk of Rain is a roguelike-like 2d platform shooter.  You play as a survivor of the wrecked cargo ship, the UES Contact Light, stranded on an alien planet.  You soon find out that ALL of the planet’s local flora and fauna, ranging from ape/humanoids to massive floating jellyfish, over sized crabs and dinosaurs, are out to kill you.  The game consists of you blasting your way through wave after wave of monsters, picking up loot in the form of jetpacks, rockets and spikewire, just to mention a few, as you battle your way to the teleporter at the end of each stage to trigger an epic boss-fight, while monsters continue to spawn.  Only after you kill the boss and his minions can you progress to the next level.

RoR1-areyoureadyteleport_miguel
“Press ‘A’ to activate the teleporter. Are you ready?”

One cool thing Risk of Rain does is its use of a difficulty timer.  As time goes on, the enemies get tougher.  Without this feature, you’d be free to explore each stage as you please, farming up money and buying up all the level’s items.  The scaling difficulty makes you have to go through levels fast, lest you pay for your idle dawdling with 10 million health, high damage enemies later on.

Risk of Rain’s replay value is awesome.  There are a total of eight characters in the game, with the dual-pistol wielding Commando being the first playable character.  You can only unlock them by doing certain things in game (no spoiler here, worry not) and by completing the game a number of times.  There are a a ton of items as well, with some of their unlocks requiring specific goals to be fulfilled.  If you enjoyed your first playthrough, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll feel the unsatiable need to play the game again just to find out what all the other cool items and who the characters are.

RoR1-Items_miguelYum. Items.

If you’re going to an alien slaughterfest in space, go with friends.  Yes, Risk of Rain has local and online multiplayer.  Local multiplayer can easily be achieved by plugging in gamepad.  Online multiplayer is pretty easily set up through a game lobby.  Going online has the advantage of the players each having their own screen and being able to split up, unlike the local equivalent where the screen can only zoom out so far before cutting one of the players out of the picture.  Multiplayer is definitely fun– aside from the pleasure of company, you can pick a team composition where each character shores up the others’ weaknesses BUT it is a bit difficult to distribute items, as people can easily accidentally pick up upgrades that were meant for someone else.

I do wish that Risk of Rain had a save function, because some runs, depending on how lucky you are with items and monster spawns, can take FOREVER.  And technically, you can make the game go indefinitely, as long as you don’t die.  So if you add this lengthy/infinite playthrough time to it’s addictive gameplay, you’ve got a problem.

Graphics

  • Great retro art style for a space shooter
  • Items and monster sprites and illustrations are well done
  • FPS drops later in the game

Awesome 2d art here, reminiscent of older, SNES-like graphics but more polished.  The small monster encyclopedia comes with some great illustrations of your enemies as well.

There’s an issue of FPS drop when a bunch of enemies.  This is really common towards the later stages, when the difficulty starts ramping up and mobs of enemies start appearing all at the same time.

Sound

Very ‘spacey,’ fits the game well
You’ll probably get sick of it after a while

The SFX sounds a bit ‘retro’ while still being crisp, making you feel like you were back in the 90s.  The soundtrack is similar in quality, but with its dire, lonely tunes and science fiction bleep bloopin, the music really accentuates the ‘lost in space’ theme.  In fact, the music is so good at making you feel alone and in space that sometimes you’ll just want to turn it off.

Verdict

Risk of Rain has lots of shooting, lots of items and lots of monsters.  While it does lack a save function, it’s a wicked fun game with plenty of replay value.  5 out of 6 cans for you Risk of Rain!

5pack

Interested?  Get a free demo and the full game here at riskofraingame.com

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