…It pours

Game: Risk of Rain 2

Developer: Hopoo Games

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer Blizzard Entertainment. These are my rambling notes to myself as I play the game. I respect and appreciate the hard work of all game developers.

Notes:

Movement and shooting things feels good.

Playing with friends was a lot of fun, made it a lot easier to fight bosses and discover the teleporters. Competing with them for items wasn’t as fun though, and it was a little discouraging to run through an area where all the chests were looted already.

UI is pretty clean and simple for the most part.

I like that there’s an element of discovery and mastery in learning what the items do and which ones you want, and even knowing from the way they look in the 3d world which ones you want to get or avoid. But it’s knowledge that isn’t taught very clearly.

I do feel like I spend a lot of time focusing on and watching health bars go down while simultaneously kind of blindly moving my character around to stay moving and avoid damage. I’m not really looking at the environment or monster models all that much.

It doesn’t seem like you can have a short and meaningful play session here – it simply takes a lot of time to go through levels, earn gold, buy items, get stronger, and move on.

Being able to dodge and aim feels like it’s important, but at the end of the day you need the items, especially certain combos of items to truly be able to chew through the amount of health hard enemies have.

The randomness feels fun in a lot of ways in that the game will feel vastly different from some of the upgrades, but also like you’re at the whim of the RNG a lot of time. There are some design choices to counteract this, like the 3d printer, but even that is pretty RNG.

As with a lot of roguelikes, at the end of the play session I’m always left wondering what I accomplished. It’s weird because games didn’t use to feel like that to me, certainly there wasn’t meaningful progression on a lot of NES games. You played to achieve mastery.

Having double jump really makes the game feel more nimble and fast paced. Once I’ve played with it I never want to play without it and I feel really limited in play sessions I don’t get it.

Dying early in a map and having to wait for your friends to finish doesn’t feel great. It also feels like you’re really falling behind by not participating in obtaining upgrades.

I didn’t like the Hunter nearly as much as the Soldier. The fact that I could only shoot when enemies were around felt broken at first. Then it just felt a little unresponsive. Also felt like I couldn’t really aim where shots were going. I ended up doing lots of damage according to the scoreboard but it didn’t feel like it.

The worm bosses were a bit annoying, especially once they got loads of health. It felt frustrating just to get good dps uptime on them with how often they go under the geometry.

The radar dish equipment felt extremely helpful, almost necessary, but didn’t feel good giving up a huge damage piece to achieve it. I didn’t want to give it up and not be a team player, but it felt bad being stuck with it on boss fights.

The upgrade that lets you use your equipment slot more often is great.

Having health bars on the left side of the screen for all the bots felt cluttered and claustrophobic. Not sure why I needed it. It was cool knowing we had a lot of bots but not at the cost of that much real estate in the UI.

I wish more items were clear what they did, and especially what happened when you got more than one of them. Maybe this is just in the glue screens somewhere?

I didn’t feel like any of the enemy or boss types stood out enough that I altered the way I played the game when fighting them. Maybe there’s a mastery aspect here I haven’t achieved yet.

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