Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rogue Trooper Redux (NSW) Review

Generally around SuperPhillip Central, the word "redux" is used for "Review Redux" where I take a second glance at a game I've already reviewed. This time, however, it's an actual game's name that is given the "redux" treatment with Rogue Trooper Redux. Confused yet? I wrote this intro, am supposed to know what I'm talking about, and you bet I'm confused! Oh well. To the review!

Way to be a trooper.

The original Rogue Trooper came out at a time where cover shooters were just coming in to their own. Unfortunately, the game had competition in the crowded holiday season with a "little-known" (sarcasm definitely intended there) third-person cover shooter called Gears of War for the Xbox 360 releasing. One game moved the needle on how cover shooting is supposed to be done and is still a prime example of it, while the other is Rogue Trooper.

Thus, it's clear to say that Rogue Trooper Redux, released on the Nintendo Switch eShop, is a game of its time. What was serviceable in the cover shooter department isn't quite as good now, as that's most apparent when trying to actually aim while behind cover. Quite frankly, it's next to impossible, as your aiming is greatly limited as to what you can shoot. And when you do shoot at the few areas beyond your strict limitations, your bullets generally don't connect. What is laid out as a cover shooter turned more into a run and gunner.

You can sure look cool propping up against that rock, but I dare you to be able to see anything to shoot.
But hiding behind cover isn't the sole gameplay focus of Rogue Trooper nor its Redux version. It brings more to the table than attempting and failing to do something that Gears of War and its subsequent sequels did magnificently.

Starting off, let's begin with the premise of the game. You serve as Rogue, a G.I. who looks like a disgruntled member of the Blue Man Group. Instead of satisfying show attendees with music and paint, Rogue delivers on the battlefield with enemies' screams and blood. His kind is slaughtered before him, but the troopers that served on his squad routinely get their microchips transplanted from their living bodies into Rogue's various arsenal. For instance, right at the beginning of the first level, Rogue's trooper who is the comic relief gets slain, and just before he dies, his microchip is implanted into Rogue's gun. By the third or fourth level's end, all four troopers are back together again (though three travel within the weapons and armor of Rogue) and they're all looking for a taste of revenge.

Rogue Trooper Redux feels good to play for the most part. Analog movement on the Switch makes aiming sometimes a bother, costing you precious health in exchange for a steady target and that satisfying kill. Here's where Rogue Trooper gets to be more than just another cover shooter. The game routinely unlocks upgrades for you to purchase with currency from fallen enemies as well as hidden in certain corners and areas of levels. You can upgrade your assault rifle to carry more ammo, invent new grenades like incendiary ones to blaze a burning trail to victory, and also restock on ammo and the most important of all, med kits, which restore health.

"Covering is for blankets and quilts. I'm a G.I., dammit!"
Rogue's buddies can also be used in various ways to be used to your advantage in combat scenarios. Sure, you might get fed up the game's lackluster cover-based systems and may want to run it and gun it the entire game, but you can also use your buddies' skills like throwing a turret or projecting a hologram of Rogue to have the enemies' attention on those while you sneak behind them and unleash a barrage of bullets in their backs. All's fair in love and war. The combat options these abilities provide as well as the upgrade system make for some positive distinguishing features for Rogue Trooper Redux that makes the lack of a compelling (or competent, really) cover system.

The campaign of Rogue Trooper Redux will take most players about 6-8 hours. A lot of it will be repeating segments of levels over again as there aren't as many checkpoints as I would have liked in each. Regardless, it's ultimately an engaging enough campaign, though nothing earth-shattering, of course. After the campaign is over, there's a couple online modes with competitive multiplayer as the focus, but defending a base or reaching a specific point in a level didn't really appeal to me to enjoy them at any length.

Those looking for a blast from the past can find one with Rogue Trooper Redux, but don't expect an amazing game. Heck, the visuals haven't even received an amazing bump either. The visuals are just like the game, really, dated but passable. If you really like shooters of the PS2 era (heck, the original game DID release on that platform), then Rogue Trooper Redux might have enough for you, especially if you want to play it in the Nintendo Switch's undocked mode. Otherwise, either wait for a sale or just pick up the PS2/Wii original.

[SPC Says: C]

Review copy provided by Rebellion.

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