Title: Risk of Rain 2
Developer: Hopoo Games
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Genre: Rogue Lite
Available On: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Version Tested: PC
The Rogue Lite genre of video games is a well-traveled path. There isn’t much a new game can offer in that genre these days. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of reason to make a title that uses that genre anyway. Hopoo Games and Gearbox publishing certainly agreed with that sentiment.
They knew Risk of Rain 2 wasn’t going to tread new ground. Even if the shooter isn’t bringing a ton of new stuff to the video game industry there’s something there that stands out from the pack.
Risk of Rain 2‘s plot is relatively simple, despite the difficulty of the game itself. You land yourself on an alien planet and then need to fight your way through waves of alien creatures while searching for transporters.
Once you find the transporter, you get to go to another part of the planet, where you will once again fight waves and waves of alien creatures. It’s really that simple.
Fun Weapons and Items in Risk of Rain 2
Games like this can come off as boring after a while. Risk of Rain 2 can come off as boring after a while too. However, it took quite a while before I got bored enough to put the controller down in each of the sessions I played.
One reason the game continued to keep me hooked, despite some repetitive elements, is because there’s just enough to collect throughout the world. Each time you blast a baddie, you earn currency. The bigger the creature, the more currency.
You can also find a way to get currency throughout the map. Get enough money and you can unlock all kinds of different items. Shields, extra life force, and weapons are all available.
The problem is that you don’t always get to pick what items you get. In fact, for the most part, it’s entirely random. That’s both frustrating and kept me going, hoping to find the perfect item to keep me alive.
One of the nice things about Risk of Rain 2 is that you don’t need to use these items to survive. You’re given weapons that allow you to hold your own quite well, once you figure out how to use them correctly.
There’s a kind of rhythm to using the three different weapons you’re given. Along with the dash button. The fight becomes almost a kind of dance, especially when you’re mobbed by an especially large group of enemies.
That dance gets a little more complicated when fighting those large groups, because two of the three weapons have a recharge rate. You can’t constantly blast creatures with your missile-launcher-like gun. Only the machine gun type allows you to blast constantly. Unfortunately, it’s also the weakest weapon.
Music Keeps You Engaged
One of the other reasons it can feel like you’re engaged in some kind of dance in Risk of Rain 2 is because of the exceptional music. There isn’t anything in the way of dialogue. The only other thing, other than the sounds of the creatures and your guns to hear in the game is the soundtrack. And boy did they find a way to make that as good as possible.
Earlier, I compared Risk of Rain 2 to Deadcells and this is one of the other things the two titles have in common. Both soundtracks are good enough that I’m fine listening to either even when I’m not playing the games they’re attached to.
The original Risk of Rain had great music. It’s sequel does it one level better. It helps that the same composer worked on both games. The music is absolutely one of the best things about this title. It kept me going when I was ready to set it down, because I wanted to listen more. Might as well blast away and try and activate that third transporter while I was grooving to the tunes.
Verdict: Risk of Rain 2 is one of the better games to launch this fall so far. It’s far from a perfect title but it does exactly what it sets out to do. It helps the title isn’t asking $60. The art style, combat systems, reasons to keep playing and the soundtrack make this is a very good bargain. It’s one of those games you’ll want to pick up weeks after putting it down. it’s something you’ll want to keep coming back to, even if hours and hours of playing it straight aren’t in the cards.