Review: Risk of Rain

So there you are, flying through space (in hyper-sleep?) when some dude with a giant sword stabs your ship (yeh, he just straight up stabs your ship) all sorts of monsters are unleashed and everything explodes! That’s just how things work sometimes. You’re sent crashing down and “land” on a planet where you have to summon giant things to kill. Or something like that. Either way, bullets will be spent and trials will be overcome until the game decides that your time is up or you defeat the ship stabber.

This is me trying to get a few achievements at once. I managed to get two or three at this time, but what I really achieved here was making Risk of Rain make some really awfull noises and framerate drops when you have over 2hours worth of bad guys standing in one place and then you should something that damages all of them at once. I thought my computer was going to die... it made me giggle.

This is me trying to get a few achievements at once. I managed to get two or three at this time, but what was really achieved here was making Risk of Rain make some really awful noises and framerate drops when you have over two hours worth of bad guys standing in one place and then you shot something that damages all of them at once. I thought my computer was going to die… it made me giggle (and freak out a bit).

Risk of Rain is one more game that is making ever so grateful that I bought a controller for my PC. I’ve always wanted one, but even after I picked it up, I didn’t really have a good reason to actually own it. The ensuing adventure is one well suited for such a control scheme. It’s a little funky with all the actions being set to the four shoulder buttons, but with a little practice it ends up being second nature. While I couldn’t correlate the moves with picture on the hot bar at first, I’m slowly getting better. I’m not super happy with that situation because it’s not the easiest setup when you unlock another character, but it does work. Mostly I just know which move is assigned to which button (bottom right is my super move, got it!) and that they have cooldowns.

There are still some bugs in Risk of Rain, but I’ve only come across three things that can drag down your experience. The first for me is the co-op play. While getting someone with another controller on the same computer is easy, hooking up different computers is a different story. It’s all sorts of back in the day stuff with opening ports and giving away ip addresses. I thought I had it down until a bunch of people couldn’t access my game other than my friend who was already behind my firewall. I had to open a new port and give out other info… it seemed like a lot more work to get some multiplayer going than I’ve done in a very long time. Maybe this was the quickest way to code it, but I think it should have been done in an easier fashion.

This is one of the four menus to have pop up on your screen when using an artifact you unlock called command. It gives you a choice of the items you want instead of letting the game randomly choose one for you. This is cool until you get a chest that's on the side of the map.

This is one of the four menus to have pop up on your screen when using an artifact you unlock called Command. It gives you a choice of the items you want instead of letting the game randomly pick one for you. This is cool until you get a chest that’s on the side of the map since the options appear directly over your head…

The second issue is that the game still has a few bugs. Like the picture above, this one isn’t game breaking, but it is annoying. When the host picks the Command option to allow you to pick the items you want then the other players have issues with a Skeleton Key that allows you to unlock chests without having to pay for them. Well… that’s how it’s supposed to work. I’ve heard a few things about how it actually just opens the chest and takes your money anyway. It has put some people in the negative and it can also stop you from being able to open chests all together. This should be patched, but until then, you could either not pick command or anyone other than the host just doesn’t pick up a key. If you want that achievement of unlocking a golden chest, you do it solo… or hate money until then.

The last issue bothers others more than myself. Risk of Rain lacks a sharing of achievements when it comes to the unlocking artifacts. If one person gets to the artifact first, then while the others can bennifit from playing in a game with that artifact in use, they have to get to the same variant of that level and do the jump puzzle themselves. You could totally call this artificial game lengthening. This is done in a lot of games though, but mostly RPG’s and MMO’s are those that I can think of. Level grinding, experience grinding, collecting a ton of crap for a single weapon unlock, or even the famous WoW treadmill or running the same dungeon and hoping for a piece of gear and hoping that the other Paladin/whatever class doesn’t roll higher than you. It’s nothing new, but that’s just how they decided to make it. Personally, the game is fun enough to warrant playing through multiple times so you’re bound to get it eventually and most of those artifacts I don’t even use. It would probably bother me more if I just wanted to 100% the game and I don’t usually care that much.

Not caring if I unlock 100% of the game doesn't mean I'll be bothered when it happens. I just play the class I enjoy and try them all. If I find everything cool, I just enjoy the experience.

Not caring if I unlock 100% of the game doesn’t mean I’ll be bothered when it happens. I just play the class I enjoy and try them all. If I find everything cool, I just enjoy the experience.

There are multiple characters to play with, but you only start with one. There are more to unlock as you progress and fulfill certain criteria. At first glance it’s not “in your face” clear how they tell you. You’ll figure it out after you unlock your first character though. Risk of Rain’s menus do describe what to do, but not who that will unlock. Some are a bit more blatant than others in their description, but they at least do tell you what you have to do to unlock another. I’ve unlocked eight out of ten classes right now and they all do feel very different. I look forward to what the others have as far as move sets. Right now I’m still all about the Huntress.

There can come a point in the game where you can have so many drones that you don't need to fire a single shot. It kind of kills the game a little, but it's terribly satisfying. This is especially true when they go through walls to kill something.

There can come a point in the game where you can have so many drones that you don’t need to fire a single shot. It kind of kills the game a little, but it’s terribly satisfying. This is especially true when they go through walls to kill something.

I love the pixel art and how everything flows so well. The animations are super fluid and the whole experience with Risk of Rain it a fantastic romp through some side-scrolling heaven. That is until you do something stupid and get yourself killed. However, in Risk of Rain, it’s a lot easier to blame yourself for your mistakes than to blame it on the game. I’d love to blame the game for getting me killed at times, but with the engineer especially, if you don’t have a Photon Jet Pack and use it before you shoot off your Harpoons, you’re just asking for everything to converge on you and remind of how bad an idea staying in one place is. This isn’t the only move you’ll need to watch out for, live and learn. Or die and learn, you can go either way really.

Everything is a lot of fun and there is a ton of replayability in Risk of Rain. I've found myself going back to it instead of playing other games that I'm more obligated to play. Turning on Risk of Rain for a thirty minute gaming session has turning into a few hours more than a few times. It does not help one be productive. The only complaint is the lack of different areas. There are multiple versions of the same few levels, but not different areas. While that's not a big complaint, it's noticeable after the umpteenth run

Basically everything here is a lot of fun and there is a ton of replayability in Risk of Rain. Despite some bugs and annoyances, I’ve found myself going back to it instead of playing other games that I’m more “obligated” to play. Turning on Risk of Rain for a thirty minute gaming session has turned into a few hours more than a few times. That doesn’t help one to be productive. The only personal complaint is the lack of different areas. There are multiple versions of the same few levels, but not a ton of different locals. While that’s not huge, it’s noticeable after the umpteenth run and I would like a little change of scenery at times. In the end, Risk of Rain is a crap-ton of fun and you should get on this train!

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

Yeh ok sure... oh btw, spoiler alert sorta. Just showing that I actually did beat the game, but I don't feel like I've destroyed the game yet. I'll uh... need to play for a few more... whiles.

Yeh ok sure… oh btw, spoiler alert sorta. Just showing that I actually did beat the game, but I don’t feel like I’ve destroyed the game yet. I’ll uh… need to play for a few more… whiles.


4 Comments

  1. Liitj July 5, 2014 9:13 am 

    My brother-in-law: I got all the char’s unlocked in RoR on the first day in under an hour!
    Me: What?! I don’t believe you.
    BIL: Yeah I made changes to one of the files and it unlocked all of them for me.
    Me: …………………………………That’s dumb.

    • Ailingforale July 6, 2014 2:34 am 

      That ruins the challenge of it all for me. It’s like once I cheated in Star Craft, the rest of the game wasn’t as fun anymore. I just can’t do that stuff now a days.

      • Liitj July 6, 2014 10:29 am 

        I need to go and beat Turok 2 on my N64 without using any cheats. I could never do it as a kid.

        BEWAREOBLIVIONISATHAND was the unlock all cheats code. Although in that game they had a “cheats” menu within the game’s main menu, so they kind of expected you to do it.

        • Ailingforale July 6, 2014 6:43 pm 

          It was always more satisfying if you could pull it off without though.

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