Few games ever receive as much praise as “Risk of Rain 2.” In a world where almost everyone is mildly discontent with practically everything, it’s refreshing to find something that is so universally enjoyed.

“Risk of Rain 2” is still in early access, which means there are even more exciting features coming in the near future.

But what is it that makes “Risk of Rain 2” so great?

What Is ‘Risk of Rain 2’?

Gamers describe “Risk of Rain 2” as a sci-fi roguelike first-person shooter with online co-op. Whew!

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For those of you who don’t know, roguelikes are those games where you only have one life to make it as far as you possibly can. Dying means starting back at the beginning, though possibly with additional features unlocked.

Roguelike games are inherently addictive for their “just one more round” aspect and are especially common among indie game developers.

Roguelikes come in many forms. FPS roguelikes are a relatively untapped market, although that is likely to change soon.

In this game, you play as one of six unique characters as you attempt to progress through levels by finding and activating teleporters.

Along the way, you must shoot through infinitely spawning enemies. Time is of the essence because the longer you play, the more powerful and frequent the enemies become.

Find and purchase powerups as you frantically search for the teleporter and ensure you’re prepared for the boss fight when you get there.

Each character has its own unique set of abilities and one “ultimate” ability. You can also find equipment with activated abilities.

The fast-paced combat of “Risk of Rain 2” is comparable to first-person shooter franchises like “Doom” and “Unreal Tournament.”


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Its “three abilities plus one ultimate” formula is reminiscent of MOBA games like “League of Legends” and “Smite.”

How We Reviewed

This review is about one-third derived from our personal experience, and two-thirds collated from the opinions of professional reviewers and customers.

We examined all the usual elements, such as graphics, audio, interface, overall gameplay, and replayability.

In addition, we tried very hard to come up with some things we didn’t like about the game.

‘Risk of Rain 2’ Review

So, what can we say about “Risk of Rain 2”?

What’s new?

Fans of the original game are probably wondering what’s different about the sequel. Apart from the obvious fact that this one is in three dimensions, less than you might you think.

However, switching from a 2D sidescroller to a 3D FPS is more than enough to make “Risk of Rain 2” feel fresh. In fact, it’s impressive how successful they are in making it still seem like part of the same franchise.

Players can now appreciate many of the same enemies, bosses, powerups, and abilities in a whole new perspective.

“Risk of Rain 2” even manages to hold onto its platformer essence by challenging you to find ways to navigate the environment.

Upcoming features

Between April 2019 and the games official release in Spring 2020, Hopoo Games promised to release four new survivors, over five new bosses and stages, and a whole host of brand new items and equipment.

In addition, all of the balancing issues you expect from an early access game should be resolved by then.

Hopoo Games is clearly a developer that listens to its fans and wants to know what they’re looking for in a game. So if you have suggestions for “Risk of Rain 2,” we encourage you to share them.

The good

Where to begin?

Gameplay

We’ve already spent time raving about the fast-paced and addictive gameplay of “Risk of Rain 2.”

What we haven’t talked about is the sheer amount of items, enemies, and bosses there are.

“Risk of Rain 2” has nearly 100 items at this time. They range from barely noticeable passive effects to activated abilities like raining meteors.

With random drops and so many possible items, every game is truly unique.

In addition, powerups stack infinitely so that, for example, finding three separate Soldier’s Syringes increases your attack speed by 15 percent each. Suddenly those passive effects are noticeable!

The list of 12 enemy types and 8 bosses is impressive, especially when we remember that this is an early access game.

Finally, both the controls and interface are simple yet effective. You don’t need complexity in these twitch reflex type shooters, and thankfully Hopoo Games understands that.

Graphics

While the lack of textures that cell-shaded graphics bring might disappoint some people, we like the aesthetic.

It reminds us of the “Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild” on the Nintendo Switch, which many people consider one of the greatest games of all time.

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More importantly, the retro science fiction graphics of “Risk of Rain 2” remind us fondly of the original game.

Audio

The relatively ambient electronica music serves to remind you that this game is a sequel to the original. It also does a fantastic job of enhancing the feeling of a science fiction world.

As far as the sound effects go, they really aren’t the highlight of the game. Audio is one of those things that you usually only notice when it’s done wrong. In this case, it works well.

The bad

“Risk of Rain 2” does have some minor flaws that we hope the developers address at some point.

First, the maps are so large that finding the teleporter is tedious at times, especially while you’re learning the lay of the land.

However, memorizing the maps can be a long process because your start locations are randomized.

In our opinion, it would push the game along faster if the maps were half as big with twice as many.

This would also solve our other main gripe, which is that the maps are not randomly generated as in the original game.

We understand generating 3D worlds is more difficult, and that, after all, “Risk of Rain 2” is still in early access. But at least having smaller, more varied maps would help keep things interesting.

The verdict

Despite the static environments and frustrating amount of time it sometimes takes to find the teleporter, “Risk of Rain 2” is beyond excellent.

Because everything else in the game is randomly generated, each run feels fresh, and there’s no doubt it has a ton of replayability.

The game forces you to adapt your strategies by rarely allowing you the same items two playthroughs in a row.

Since this is a roguelike game that is over fairly quickly, playing a few rounds right before you leave for work is entirely feasible.

From what we understand, the online co-op with up to four players is also seamless.

All in all, “Risk of Rain 2” is easily one of the top games for 2019. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the 95 percent positive customer reviews of over 25,000 on Steam!

Similar Roguelike Games

No game is quite like “Risk of Rain 2.”

However, we’ll compare it a few other roguelike shooters just for fun.

‘Enter the Gungeon’

‘Enter The Gungeon‘ is an extremely popular 2D arcade shooter with roguelike elements.

For comparison, it has the same percentage of positive ratings on Steam as “Risk of Rain 2,” and that’s with 5,000 more reviews. However, its also been out about three years longer.

In “Enter The Gungeon,” you progress your way through a dungeon with up to one other friend. You must be careful not to take damage, because you may only lose so much health before it’s game over.

The main draw of this game is that it has over 200 different kinds of guns, some of which are insanely powerful. That, combined with creative enemies and boss fights, sets this game apart from the crowd.

Other smaller elements play their part too. Rolling through attacks without taking damage and knocking over tables to take cover behind makes for some truly intense firefights.

Oh, yes, and the randomly generated rooms and item drops keeps this game from ever getting old.

This game is also available on consoles.


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‘Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth” is another revered roguelike 2D shooter. Since its release in 2014, it has gained 97 percent positive reviews out of nearly 70,000!

The ominous storyline and creepy graphics are really what make this game. You play a small child whose seemingly schizophrenic mother nearly murders him before he manages to escape through a trap door in his bedroom.

Beneath his house is a sprawling, randomly generated dungeon with hundreds of items and nearly 200 types of monsters.

Fight off enemies by shooting them with your tears, which will change based on the items you pick up.

There is so much variation in the gameplay of “Binding of Isaac,” that other games pale in comparison. You can play it for days on end without ever coming across many of its features.

In addition, many of the items will change Isaac’s appearance in haunting ways.

But as amazing as this game is, it’s still not a replacement for “Risk of Rain 2.”

‘Tower of Guns’

In many ways, “Tower of Guns” is the closest game to “Risk of Rain 2” you will find. After all, it’s one of the very few roguelike games that’s also a first-person shooter. It even has some sci-fi elements.

However, with only 390 Steam reviews since 2014, the game is much less popular. Still, it has 87 percent positive reviews and is also available on the PS4.

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So if you’re looking for a “Risk of Rain 2” substitute while you wait for it to hit consoles, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of this game.

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In “Tower of Guns,” you have one life to climb your way to the top of a tower and rescue a group of scientists.

The story isn’t important, as the main focus of the game is subjecting you to intense 3D firefights with a wide variety of enemies and weapons.

While many reviewers say the pacing is a bit off, it’s a solid game that will keep you coming back for more.

Let it Rain!

While all of these game will make great additions to your library, each of them is unique enough to stand on their own. Therefore, we suggest getting your copy of “Risk of Rain 2” right away!

Which of the games we reviewed have you played? Do you agree that nothing compares to the gameplay of “Risk of Rain 2”?

Let us know in the comments below!

Last update on 2021-02-26 at 16:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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