Developer: Hopoo Games
Genre: Rouge-like, Co-op
I never played the first Risk of Rain, generally I’m not a fan of the bullet hell style, and whilst you might argue that it isn’t bullet hell, it certainly looked like it from what I saw. Then along came Risk of Rain 2, quietly releasing to little marketing earlier this year.
After one particularly evening of some stressful games on Apex Legends me and fellow writer Ross felt like a change of pace, something a little different, maybe something a little relaxing. I knew Risk of Rain 2 had recently released and knew that it was getting very, very good reviews, I was also aware that it wasn’t exactly a game you’d call relaxing. Nevertheless, we bought it anyway and spent the first 20-30 minutes being blown away (in some cases, quite literally) by the insanely fun and hyperactive, intensely focused gameplay.
After our first ‘run’ we were anything but relaxed. You see, if you don’t know, in Risk of Rain 2 the gameplay loop is fairly simplistic, you spawn on a level, have to find the teleporter on that level, when you do you can spawn the boss. To progress you have to beat the boss and get the teleporter up to 100% ready, then you move on to the next level and repeat with the difficulty never ceasing to increase… until you die.
Along your way you you will gain gold from killing enemies, this can be used to buy abilities that will do things like double your damage and half your health, or make you sprint faster, or mount a missile launcher on your shoulder. But what’s interesting about these abilities is that they’re infinitely stack-able. This means in theory you could stack energy drinks (which make you run faster) 100 times, and each time you’d get quicker and quicker and quicker. You can kind of see where this is going, it allows for some absolutely insane combos for when doing runs and creates some of the most unique gameplay I think I’ve ever played.
Each time you take on a new life, you will have a completely different run, with completely different abilities, making it feel fresh and interesting.
Oh also, as I said about the difficulty, it gets ridiculous, it starts on easy, then normal, hard eventually leading on to I’M COMING FOR YOU and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – which never stops haha-ing at you. Eventually your entire screen is filled with enemies – who are all pretty much bosses at this point, and explosions and it’s just madness but so much fun.
There are also a number of unlockable characters all unlocked via different means and challenges and each character plays in an entirely different way. One is more of a sniper with a bow, another is a mechanic type character who can deploy turrets and mines, then there is a purely melee class who is extremely fun to play. This just adds to the variety each time you play.
Risk of Rain 2 surprised me so much after buying it on a whim and it has fast become one of my favourite games of this year. Normally I wouldn’t play games like this, but I’m so glad that I did in this case.