There are two types of games I have a soft spot for, Rogue-likes and Shoot’em ups. Which means a game like Rogue Stormers from Black Forest Games (the makers of the Gina Sisters) a game that is right up my alley, a co-op Contra/Metal Slug-esque shooter mixed in with Rogue-like elements with randomly designed levels.
Rogue Stormers has a quick set-up, there is an evil orc king that has taken over Ravensdale with an army of orcs, mutants, traitors and machines. It is up to you and 3 other knights to take back the city. As far as the story, you’ll only hear about this lore during a quick opening cutscene at the beginning of the game, and maybe in the backstory of some of your playable knights, it doesn’t get in the way of what’s important.
That important thing, is killing every orc that comes at you. Players have the option to play as one of 5 knights (most needing to be unlocked), each with their own stats, abilities and perks, Players can also choose a perk they may have received from levelling up in the dungeon to bring in with them. From there, the game is chaos; with Orcs coming in from all directions, some using turrets, bombs, and even flinging lesser orcs at you. The more orcs you kill, the faster you level up and earn gold which can be used at supply drops to unlock new gear, health and sometimes new perks.
Like any good Rogue-Like, the game features randomly generated levels and various tools to help you progress, including perks that increase your stats whether it helps with Range, Health, Damage or specials. Also players have access to a wide arrange of subweapons, these weapons require ammo or a cool down before use but can help clear out a horde if used properly, sometimes these weapons also come with their own stats including elemental upgrades, poison and various other RPG style status changers.
One of my biggest problems though, while the sub-weapons can be easily found throughout the game, Perks can be quite rare, usually requiring you to open a treasure chest or spending a wild amount of gold before being able to get them.
Players can engage in solo or up to 4 player, with both online and Couch co-op, a rare feature that helps improves the game. When playing solo, you’re only given one shot at the dungeon, but co-op gives you the chance to be resuscitated, however if everyone dies, it’s back to the beginning of your quest. This can lead to some frustration, however the level up perks remain available as players continue to blast their way.
Both the graphics and the audio suffer from the same problem, there is too much going on to really focus on it. Music is usually drowned out by the sound of gunfire and orcs exploding to really get grooving, while the amount of baddies that look nearly identical will throw you off of your strategy. Still both the Music and Graphics are nothing to complain about, but not really memorable.
Like most Rogue-likes, the gameplay is what sells the game and Rogue Stormers has this going on in spades. A Contra style shoot’em up with rogue like elements forces you to become better at each play, along with a wide variety of weapons and perks as well as Co-op multiplayer makes this game a must have for those who miss the good old days of blasting away at hordes of enemies with their friends.