There was another big thing coming out of the Borderlands 3 conference. And if I belive my Steam friends list it's already becoming quite popular.
Risk of Rain 2 is a Co-op Rogue Lite 3rd Person Shooter currently in early access. They also have a deal on Steam that will give you an additional copy of the game to gift to friends if you buy until the 30th(today!).
I've played the game for about 5 hours now and several runs. It is already very polished and full of content. It has a unique aesthetic complimented by a great soundtrack that invokes the feeling of space and planet exploration.
The gameplay is very straight forward. You kill things, get money and XP and with the earned money you can buy random upgrades to help you in your run. You start in a random area that's not procedurally generated but has randomized placements for objects. It's quite a big area, which you will have to explore on foot, which will become quite a factor later on. Enemies spawn infinitely and get stronger over time and to get to the next area you will have to activate a portal, which will spawn a boss for you to defeat.
The game features 6 characters currently and will take quite a bit of effort and time to unlock them all. For example I unlocked my 2nd character after playing for 3 hours and only because I set the difficulty on easy, since I was still learning the game. To unluck the rest will most likely cost me tens of hours more. Granted I've only been playing the game in singleplayer. I would assume doing levels in coop will make things much easier. But it is definitely fun to play alone, otherwise I wouldn't have sunk so much time into it.
The items you can get are numerous and I haven't even seen half of them, there are 9 different areas that are big and confusing enough to reward you for mapping and memorizing them in detail. For an early Access title there is already so much content and polish that it barely deserves this description.
The ramping up of difficulty is purely time based so it's better to advance through the areas as fast as possible, which is where my first and biggest gripe so far comes in. Since the portals to complete the level are placed randomly in an area and not highlighted whatsoever, neither with a marker or bright colors, it can be really frustrating to run around huge areas looking for the little thing only to see the difficulty meter ramp up. I've sometimes spent over 10 minutes purely just to find that damn portal only to be killed by the boss who has now become too strong for me because it ramped up while I was searching and didn't improve my character. That definitely needs to be fixed by placing a marker for the portal or at least making it more visible from afar.
Other than that I'm having a blast and I'm looking forward to explore more and see what the developers have in store for us in the future. BTW I truly mean what I wrote in the title. The game very much feels like a simplified version of Borderlands applied to a robust Rogue Lite game. Opening the crates for randomized loot, using your skills, colorful damage numbers in the air, fighting humongous bullet sponge bosses. It's the perfect game to play in anticipation for Borderlands 3!
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