Risk of Rain is the kind of game which you think would appeal to gamers who seek a challenge. A constant increase in time versus difficulty as you continue playing makes the game more of a challenge to those seeking a harder time. At first you may look at the game and think of it as something you’d play once and never again, however the game itself offers a surprising amount of versatility and replayability. The longer you play the game, the more you will begin panicking as you slowly realise the enemies get harder and harder, then before long you won’t be able to heal fast enough and will melt under all the monsters. Hopoo games consists of 2 students who designed this game and it leaves me in awe of what they’ve made.
There are so many different items up to offer (such as Binding of Isaac) that can heavily impact the way in which the game is played; they vary from weapon damage, random rockets / mortars firing when you attack, regenerating health on hit and dropping fire when you jump in the air. You will need to kill as many enemies as possible to open as many chests / shrines as possible while grabbing items to beat the massive bosses. Some items are incredibly overpowered whereas others can be completely worthless in situations, although shields are almost always invaluable. The randomness in different runs can make all the difference, but you need to constantly keep your eye on the clock as the difficulty ticks up so you don’t get overwhelmed by enemies. A great feature is when you hit the ‘impossible’ section bosses become frequent enemies instead of just end-level fights.
The game itself is great fun both with friends and on your own, the levels are the perfect sizes for time limits, however if you spend too long in one area you may find you’ll struggle later on. Having friends play with you can certainly help exploring and stop the swarming enemies, with shared gold and experience you can still get plenty of items but when you hit the harder bosses you may realise that you have to rely on each other to survive. If one of you dies, then the other may quickly follow. Controls and mechanics in the game don’t require a mouse and players will most likely use the arrow keys and QWER to fit their playstyle. I personally enjoyed this and it took a while to get used too, yet you quickly adapt and will find yourself blowing things up with precision in no time.
There are 10 different kinds of characters to play, each with their own unique set of skills. they can be weapon users, melee users or even spit/drop acid, with each providing different playstyles it makes the game very interesting, and if you work together well with friends especially if you all pick different characters, then you can use your different skills to combat any threat. There are 10 boss types, a few elite enemies and plenty of normal enemies but this still provides enough mixture and variety to keep players on their toes.
There are 10 different levels within the game. Levels 1 – 9 have 2 to 3 different layouts except for the last level which only has 1 large layout that never changes. I never stopped having fun while playing, as the item and characters provide enough randomness and change to keep the game enjoyable and fun, yet after a few playthroughs you learn where the chests are which can spoil a little bit of the fun when you know where to go in order the get them, the cost of the chests are also predictable as their prices will only go up when you go onto the next level. Luckily you lose all you money when you proceed and it exchanges for experience. I liked this, otherwise the game would become very silly and if you could take thousands of gold onto another level (especially with an item such as ‘golden gun’ which gives you bonus damage depending on money).
Issues i’ve discovered within the game mainly focus on connecting with other players and hosting games. When trying to set-up a few they struggled to connect and the games server. After recent forum reviews it seems that other players have also struggled with the multiplayer aspect. I don’t believe this issue will be addressed as the game itself have been out for a year now, but hopefully it shouldn’t stop most people playing the game. Some enemies also won’t die when their health reaches zero and you will face a creature which can’t die attacking you, this leads to the only option of running away and sometimes that isn’t always the easiest option.
Risk of rain is a high risk = high reward game. It can provide endless laughs and panic both alone and with friends as you blast your way across 10 levels. Fans of RNG games will definitely enjoy this game whereas others may take a while to adapt to it. A constant difficulty increase can lead to interesting results if you hang around on a certain level too long or if you rush ahead before collecting enough items to survive the later onslaught. There are a few bugs which may be a pain but won’t ruin the game and may be addressed but can’t confirm for sure, but fans of the game shouldn’t have an issue.If you ever get bored of the game you can simply swap to another character and try again with a new set of skills and fighting style. Have a calm first 15 minutes, before the game slowly descends into panic filled chaos and almost certain death!
(Currently on sale for £1.74 on Steam, well worth the price if you want to try it out!)