Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Sometimes a game just comes together with various parts that somehow add up to make a far better whole than the title has any right to. Rogue Stormers is a really solid example of this, as it has a series of really cool ideas that I was not sure would come together very well. The end result is a game that was more fun than I expected, despite some rough edges here and there.
The best thing about Rogue Stormers is that it feels unique. It is a fun, challenging game that is part twin stick shooter, part action/platformer with a tactical element. It seems like an odd mixture, but there is an addictive progression hook where unlocking new perks is an absolute joy. While Rogue Stormers can be played by yourself, it’s a better experience with friends.
It has rogue-like elements, but they are leveraged in a way that really suited the game well. Randomized levels and randomized upgrade and enemy placement. This makes every stage feel like an exploration, and it all comes together remarkably well. I did stumble onto a few stages early on where things did not quite connect the way they should have, no doubt as a result of this rogue-like approach, but a recent patch seems to have helped to solve this. The patch also shows how dedicated the developers at Black Forest Games are to seeing their title succeed. On day one there was a nearly game-breaking amount of visual stutter that has since been fixed and banished never to be seen again.
That is a great thing, because visually Rogue Stormers just looks amazing. Vibrant use of colors, fun animations and gobs of enemies. That lag was nearly a deal killer initially, but now that it’s gone you can appreciate the game for what it is – a smooth, high action adventure. If you were just mowing down rows of enemies, the gameplay would probably grow tiresome, but their random drops and the sense of progression you get at the end of a level really did a great job of keeping me coming back for more. That is because leveling up your character grants new skills.
While you do have a primary weapon that never runs out of ammunition, the secondary weapons are what make the game more enjoyable. There are elements of Contra here with the platforming segments, power-ups and big boss battles. The game is undoubtedly hard, and some of the bosses were a little more frustrating than I would have liked. If you have a buddy or three who are ace when it comes to action games, bring them along, because you will likely want the help.
Rogue Stormers is a somewhat short game, but it is built around replay value. If the idea of a quick and dirty action game bothers you, then this one will probably miss the mark. While Rogue Stormers is not revolutionary by any means, it does execute quite well on its premise. There is going to be a core group of gamers excited by the combination of taxing action and progression that will undoubtedly keep them coming back for more. While I enjoyed my time with the title, it is one that I can put down. It is easy enough to pick up and play for short intervals as well. Given that there is a grind-like nature to it, that is probably a good thing. For me personally, prolonged sessions of play proved a little frustrating. I enjoyed Rogue Stormers more when approaching it in more bite-sized play sessions.Score: 7.5/10