Risk of Rain 2: explore Petrichor, reach Commencement, die, repeat.
I’m gonna open today’s article about RoR2, by Hopoo Games, with a riddle for you all: what’s the best part of online games?
Some will say ping, some the lag spikes, someone else will appreciate the many bots that are destroying TF2’s multiplayer. I have no doubts some of you are fans of the game-crashing bugs that feature in many games today but for me, the best part of online games is playing with friends who live in another city.
We’ve all been through it, the moment you graduate high school your classmates and friends scatter like billiard balls. One in Rome, another in Bologna, two in Milan, and there aren’t a lot of opportunities to meet.
Lucky for us, online games allow us to spend at least some time together in good fun. And Discord will allow us to chat in the meanwhile.
Having set this premise, let’s dive into today’s game, League of Legends.
My bad, I accidentally joked.
After years spent on competitive games dealing with meta slaves, sweaty tryhards and smurfs who’d plow my ass absent provocation, I realized none of that really felt like fun. Searching for a new experience, I found Risk of Rain 2.
Risk of rain 2 is a third person shooter roguelite with multiplayer up to four people. The game’s main loop is finding the hidden contraption in each biome and to beat the respective guardian up, in order to then advance to the next biome, until the unavoidable encounter with a final boss.
The game is still gratifying in single player mode, but multiplayer just adds another layer of complexity to the gameplay.
One would think that the cycle kill monsters -> buy items -> kill more monsters would get old fast, buth, thanks to the wide variety of creatures present in the game, combined with the morphology of different maps and the various emergent mechanics that come out of item interaction, the game experience always feel varied and stimulating.
The same enemy goes from being a walking meme when faced in open air, to being a serious threat in an enclosed space and vice versa, The feeling is that of facing real enemies in a real environment (at least until two Beetles spawn inside each other and stand motionless), rather than grinding items only to later painfully succumb to the rng mobs spawns.
A single mechanic that enriches the game experience is the timer: useful to track your time into the run, as well as the encounters’ level. Every single minute that goes by will translate in bonus stats and abilities for the enemies to come. This encourages a swift and focused gameplay, which leads to a deeper immersion on the side of the player.
The player is accompanied during his galactic odyssey by the soundtrack, courtesy of composer Chris Christodolou, and the full album can be purchased at his bandcamp page.
The tracks (dare I say post-rock? I’m not sure) are intense, hypnotic. They tell of legends not yet passed on, of nameless emotions. Of the step before discovery, when the mind is still blinded by the unknown,
But, as I always say, a link is worth a thousand words.
The world of RoR2 is full of saturated colors and soft, organic shapes. Considering that most of the time the Survivors will be speeding through the maps at olympic speed (or relativistic speed, if we talk about Loader), this solution allows us to recognize structures and enemies at a glance and react accordingly.
The RoR2 universe has some deep lore, which in turn builds directly upon that of RoR1, and adds to the previous knowledge of the player. I’m not gonna spoil anything, but lore enthusiasts will come to discover that the final boss of the game isn’t exactly a stranger.
Risk of Rain 2 is a masterpiece. For a roguelite aficionado like me this game is all I could ask for. Crazy replayability (40 hours in and I’m still discovering new features). Deep system of both micro (movement, aiming, skill rotations) and macro (itemization, pathing) play which allows for a number of viable strategies even at Monsoon difficulty (the hardest in classic play).
My suggestion for you is to take advantage of the bundle containing both the main game and the Survivors of the Void DLC. This unlocks a bunch of new items, two fairly controversial survivors (you’ll see) and an alternative final boss. With a grand total of 35 euros, or 35 dollars, for all the starred and striped gamers out there, you’ll buy yourself a terrifying title with great multiplayer and a good resilience against the unstoppable march of time.
In addition I’m writing a small handbook of particularly fun builds me and my associate tried during our runs. Be sure not to sleep on that.