Rogue Stormers (PlayStation 4) Review

By Eric Ace 12.11.2016

Review for Rogue Stormers on PlayStation 4

Rogue Stormers (read how it fares on the PC here) has had a very long time in development, essentially going back as far as 2007, surviving some name and company changes, but is now released on PS4 by Black Forest Games. Set in a steampunk fantasy world that is overrun with goblins, the main characters have to take their infinite-bullet guns and shoot their way through random dungeons, and, maybe, one day become strong enough to make it to the final dungeon.

Rogue Stormers is a rogue-like, which, until very recently, was a very niche kind of genre of random dungeons, hard learning curves, and nearly everything lost on death. These sort of games can have vastly different gimmicks, but, typically, it all comes down to: in the end, you either level-up enough over the deaths that you can win, or you now learn enough that you can carefully beat the levels. In this title it is mix of both, but, unfortunately, it just isn't that fun.

This is basically a twin-stick shooter, with one analogue stick moving the guy, while the other is used to shoot with the gun. Endless little goblins come, and they have to get mowed down while slowly exploring the rooms. Most die pretty fast, but some can take much more punishment. For all intents, your character can take very little damage, and dodging is very important, which is a bit of a problem. This whole thing styles itself as some sort of fast paced action romp, but doing that will lead to a 'Game Over' very fast. Therefore, the most ideal is actually to simply crawl forward slowly. Combat is not fun at its basic level, and reducing it to merely grinding one's way through a level is not a good choice.

Screenshot for Rogue Stormers on PlayStation 4

The basic idea behind this could be great. There are different characters ranging from a typical machine gunner guy to a long-range sniper. They can be built differently as you gain experience and learn permanent perks, one example might be between deciding to slowly hovering longer, to healing easier. With enough runs, the starting character can be much stronger, and there are various weapons to be acquired during a run, such as items that can boost stats, and so on.

The issue is that much of it does nothing to alleviate the major problem, which is the fact that merely crawling forward shooting slowly is nearly the ideal strategy, and is fairly boring. Deviating results in fast death, and in a rogue-like death is to be avoided at all costs… so it's back to the crawl. Furthermore, the weapons picked up in the levels are just temporary boost; maybe a few rockets, or some energy bursts, but not really any sense of permanency.

Adding to the problem is the sound. Typically, sound is a non-issue, excluding perhaps some really good notable examples. But in this, at normal volumes the only thing is the "BOOM-BOOM-BOOM" of the machinegun firing over and over, along with perhaps occasional goblin cries. By turning the sound effects down or off, it results in being able to hear some subpar music. There are very little positive things to say about this, and it is very distracting. Consider a game like Contra that is nearly 30-years old, and its music is still driving, inspiring, and sets the scene, and the gun sound effects don't drown out everything.

Screenshot for Rogue Stormers on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Rogue Stormers does an interesting genre mixing of platforming, run-and-gun, and RPG elements. On paper this seems like it could be pretty cool, however, it's all very slow given the genre, and there is not much really going on beyond crawling forward a little at a time and killing trash mobs running forward. There are perks, equipment, and other RPG trappings, but they are just filler that do not get around the main problem that this simply isn't that fun. Its style and ideas are interesting, but each level feels the same, and the very root of the entire system is not interesting enough to really encourage any desire to play for any length of time.

Developer

Black Forest Games

Publisher

Black Forest Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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