Notice: A copy of this game was provided for review purposes. While we are grateful to receive this copy this does not influence our opinion in any shape or form.
gameplay 95 / story 92 / graphics 90 / sound 85
The roguelike genre has seen somewhat of a popularity spike in recent years with dozens of titles cropping up, featuring procedurally generated levels while others implement aspects of procedural generation into their games.
Matt Dabrowski’s Streets of Rogue joins the ranks of this new wave of games that offer endless replayability. In the game, you get to play as a varied cast of characters, each equipped with their unique abilities, some of which can be extremely useful while others can be, interesting.
The game takes place in levels, each laid out procedurally making no two playthroughs the same. The game manages to utilize this feature well and deliver on creating levels that feel different but this isn’t exactly the case. While the layout makes it impossible to formulate plans and memorize how to go about missions, each level consists of more or less the same buildings, just with different interiors. That being said, a change of scenery after three levels does partially address the issue as the higher levels do manage to break the repetition in design.
While traversing the levels, you’re given a set of missions that must be finished before heading for the exit elevator. These tasks can range from assassinations to a rescue. This is where Streets of Rogue thrives, as you’re given options on how you want to complete the missions. For example, sometimes you’re asked to retrieve an item, but you aren’t told how. You can choose to lure the enemies out by poisoning the oxygen supply or using one of the dozens of gadgets available at your disposal.
Streets of Rogue thrives on choice and not only is this evident in the missions, but in the characters too. with 21 to choose from, the game doesn’t fall short on allowing you to complete the game in alternative ways. When I was looking to play without making the loudest noise possible, I turned to the medic, who had a chloroform hankie capable of knocking out NPCs without making a sound, at the cost of not being able to use weapons. I also had the choice of the shapeshifter, who could possess anyone, but had issues making friends with even the most friendliest people.
There was also the choice of aligning with the law and becoming a police officer, or going against society and becoming a cannibal. The list goes on, but it’s clear the developer has taken care to make sure each character has their own personality, as well as their own set of skills to allow the player to create a playthrough they desire.
Speaking of creating, you’re also given the option to create your own character (16 of them, actually). This was an especially useful tool, as I sought to create a medic capable of using chloroform and weapons. Oh, and I needed him to be cool with cannibals. Luckily, the editor allowed me to do just that, forcing me to be realistic with my choices and prevented me from making a character build that would tip the game unfairly in my favor.
Streets of Rogue’s mission system also features a main quest system which generates an overall task for you to do. An example of this was to avoid killing anyone, an easy task when you have a chloroform hankie spare. Others challenged you to work around the objective. You were also given the option to ignore it completely.
Enough about the missions, more about the crazy range of items at your disposal. The game loves to give you variety and I mean it really loves to give you variety. You’ve got your basics: lockpicks, time bombs, grenades but you’ve also got your toys such as the cardboard box, the water pistol and the paralyzer trap which lets you channel your inner cowboy.
But you’re not going into the city with all this gear of course; you’ll need to scavenge and sell to get your hands on your arsenal. Mostly, you can obtain items through completing missions but other times they’ll be available in shops which can be found on almost every floor.
While the game’s items are great, the perks are equally as fun to dick around with. These are the skills offered to you at each level that can alter the gameplay in your favour. There are only three to choose from, forcing you to pick wisely: a mechanic that roguelike fans relish to keep the game from tipping into an overpowered mess. The skills can get pretty interesting too, not to mention extremely useful (such as the ability to stop cannibals from attacking you on sight, a perk crucial to avoid dying an easy death on the park levels).
The game gives you a choice and this freedom is what makes Streets of Rogue easily one of the best roguelikes on offer right now. It advertises an alternative roguelike experience, shying away from your usual cave dwelling and sword swinging, trading it in for something more outrageous and whacky.
Did you enjoy this review? Want to post your own review? Anyone can report the news, or post a review on gamelust.com, AND have a chance to become featured on our homepage! All you need to do is log in or register with us and add your voice today!
You must be logged in to leave a comment