Risk of Rain Returns is finally here, turning the decade-old Steam roguelike into an entirely new experience and one any fan of the genre needs to play and experience for themselves as soon as possible. I’ve been playing a lot of the Hopoo Games remaster, and it completely lifts a game I bounced off of last year. If you’re a fan of Hades, Enter the Gungeon, and Dead Cells, this is the game for you.
I’m PCGamesN’s self-proclaimed ‘roguelike enjoyer,’ and Risk of Rain Returns has come out during the year’s busiest release period and still managed to blow my metaphorical socks off. The sci-fi roguelike platformer is visually stunning, transforming the already robust pixel art style into something that stops you in your tracks to look at the world around you – before it kills you, that is.
The premise of this roguelike game is a simple one: Your spaceship has crashed on a strange planet, and either alone or in co-op you need to choose a unique survivor, fight through the 2D platforming levels, and find random items to help further your build for that run. You’ll unlock more survivors, passive and active items, and even challenges along the way.
Not only do the 15 survivors each offer up drastically different ways to play, but you’re rewarded for using them by getting new core abilities you can use on runs – each survivor has four different moves you can use, and you’ll eventually find new ones.
When compared to something like Hades, Risk of Rain Returns does do something a little different. Instead of building up one character throughout multiple runs, the game aims to unlock more items and survivors as you play, both of which you can use to cement your playstyle over time.
Risk of Rain Returns also has what I can only describe as a genius difficulty scaling system: time. The longer you spend on a run the harder it gets, so while you could explore an entire level and grab all the items on offer, you’ll then have to contend with tougher enemies for the whole run. The balance between your power and the power of the enemies is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and I love it.
Again, this is all helped by how beautiful the aesthetic and art direction is for the game too. The skyboxes are positively distracting, rays of light can sometimes come in from off-screen, and even the chaos of an enemy-filled screen makes it look like a Jackson Pollock painting.
You can grab Risk of Rain Returns on Steam right now for 15% off until Wednesday, November 15, so expect to pay $12.74 / £10.87 until then. Risk of Rain Returns is available right now.
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