Before reaching the release, Streets of Rogue was in early access for more than two years and during this time managed to win the hearts of many users. Other players spent hundreds of hours in it: a good achievement for a pixel project, made alone by independent developer Matt Dabrowski.
To attribute his brainchild to a specific genre is not easy. On the one hand, Streets of Rogue is a bagel in the best traditions of Nuclear Throne or Enter the Gungeon . On the other hand, the devil is hiding in little things: elements familiar to them from Grand Theft Auto, Deus Ex and Hotline Miami were added to the roguelite base . And this hybrid turned out to be not only witty, but also very pretty.
One far from perfect day, the tyrannical mayor of a peaceful and prosperous town decides to tighten his screws: he bans alcohol and imposes taxes on everything that is possible and impossible. Chaos immediately reigns in the city, and local residents organize the headquarters of the Resistance underground to overthrow the dictatorship.
In the best traditions of the genre, the protagonist is the Chosen One, which will put an end to the rule of the tyrant. He has a long way to go from the lower floor of the city-building to the heights where the villain lives, and along the way he delves into garbage bins, loot shops, hunt policemen and break open terminals in mini-games.
The plot in the game is far from the first place, but it still boasts amusing dialogues, good jokes and witty allusions to dystopia in the spirit of James Ballard ‘s High- Rise. However, it is easy to forget about the evil mayor while studying procedurally generated locations. There are five of them – slums, a factory, a park, a business center and a suburb. Each is located on a separate floor, and in order to move to the next, you will have to complete more than one task.
Dabowski was not cunning when he spoke about the similarity of his project with Grand Theft Auto: the gameplay really brings to mind the thoughts about the series about the great hijacker. An open world with a touch of cheerful madness has the potential to walk and kill everyone in a row, and GTA fans will notice a lot of things in quests: eliminate the ordinary poor fellow, imitating Nico Bellic, steal drugs in the spirit of Juan Lee, save his friend, like Carl Johnson, for complete happiness, only car theft is lacking.
The main charm of the gameplay – in complete freedom of choice. You can achieve your desired goal in different ways: if you want, go through the locations secretly, if you want, cut everyone in a row. In this regard, Streets of Rogue is approaching a real immersive sim: at each level there are a lot of characters waiting for interaction, and for any task you can choose a solution for your liking. Do you understand that dealing with another opponent is difficult? Hire an assistant for an affordable amount. The necessary safe was surrounded by a million traps, and even with an aggressive amball on guard? Break the window and crawl into the building where no one expects this.
Given that quests are also randomly generated, it won’t be boring. True, bagel elements do not always play into the hands: sometimes a random level gives such a tricky level that the hero suddenly dies on the first impossible mission, but when you restart, you clear the same location without receiving any damage.
If the player is too easy or too hard, before going to the next floor you can customize the game for yourself by activating the mutators. Endless ammunition, zombie apocalypse, price increases – various modifications will both simplify the gameplay and turn it into an unforgettable test.
Completing the tasks will provide not only a passage to the next level, but also pleasant bonuses in the form of new items, coins and chicken nuggets – the main in-game currency. For it you can purchase various improvements, but only on the basis of the lobby of the game: at the levels themselves you will have to pay with ordinary money
Six out of twenty characters are available from the start, but the rest open quickly and bring not only new gameplay opportunities, but also scope for wagering. Want to become a crazy gorilla? You are welcome! Any character can be customized to taste by changing the hairstyle, skin and eye color. At the same time, everyone was not only prescribed a biography in the spirit of role-playing games of the old school, but also presented unique skills, a set of starting items and the main mission. The task of the hacker is to arrange the largest cyberattack in the history of mankind, the goal of the policeman is to become a superkop (and who does not want to become one?).
On the basis of each character, you can buy one additional ability, which will allow him to inflict more damage or become less noticeable. Here you can set up the awards that will be waiting for the hero in the game world (from cologne to flamethrower and trap-paralyzer), and look into the store to purchase utilities before going into a new location
However, the full potential of Streets of Rogue is revealed in the joint passage. Of course, it’s unlikely that you can complete the whole game in the Rambo style alone, but in a co-op with friends the bagel turns into a tactical strategy. While the hacker breaks into the terminal, the thief opens the safe, and in the meantime, the monkey distracts the enemies and scatters the banana peel on which the guards slip.
The game supports both local and network co-op for 2–4 people, but passing it with random people will not be a good idea. Firstly, half of the rooms in the lobby are password protected, so finding a free seat is not an easy task; secondly, many players adhere to the “fell in everything” style and at some point can easily choose you as a target. Friendly fire can be turned off, but not everyone knows about this function. In addition, with well-coordinated teamwork and communication with friends in voice chat, cleaning floors is much more interesting and more fun.