Cool-OpsÂ is a segment of GameGulp where we take a co-op/multiplayer game, play it, and give our opinions the way these games were meant to be reviewed: together.
Before the "ber" months kick in, there is always that time of year where we get caught in Mother Nature's bipolar fury.
It is during this time that there is always that... risk of rain (yes, we nailed that segue to the board beautifully). Oddly enough, it is also in this period that we played Risk of Rain - a roguelike platform shooter by Hopoo Games and published by Chucklefish Games which was released for the PC and recently for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.
Though not involving rain of any sorts, the game does involve risk. Set on an alien planet, you play as one of twelve unlockable classes as you make your way through semi-randomly generated levels littered with a non-stop barrage of uglies that only get uglier and tougher as the game goes on.
So sit down, strap in, and space out as we talk about our time spent traversing
these alien planets - all the while finding gold, guts, and giddiness in this
little gem of a game.
Stef Atega:Â What do you mean "it doesn't involve rain"? Heck yeah, it does! A rain of fire, lasers, shock beams and everything else those hordes of monsters fired at us!
Carlos Zotomayor: I meant at the start, Stef! We have to ease the readers into thinking this game is actually fun to play before we get into that! Which brings me to my first problem with Risk of Rain: there is a LOT of setup before we could actually get to play it. The game made it difficult for us to connect to each other's computers that we almost never got to play it!
Stef: True. You'll have trouble setting up a server on your own, since you have to do some reconfiguration. Although, after downloading a third-party software that established direct linksÂ between our computers, this problem was easily solved. Now, the actual gameplay...
Zoto: ... is really fun! I love that each of the twelve classes plays differently from one another and that no two levels are quite alike. Yes, there are some specific areas which are similar and for the most part we knew where to go, but looking for teleporters in order to advance the game is always fun and exciting!
Stef: Yeah, in one playthrough of Risk of Rain, you can advance through as little as five levels before choosing to take on the final one. The trick is to do this as fast as possible by finding the teleporters located randomly in each level. This is because as you play the game, the difficulty meter will increase. It starts out on "Very Easy" but if you survive for long enough, the meter can reach difficulties like "Insane", "Impossible", and the ever-ominous "HAHAHAHA". That's when total mayhem occurs!
Zoto: But don't forget the balance! We couldn't just go gung-ho all the time into a teleporter without at least getting a few character levels and power-ups on us! Because even though getting to the portal is easy (mostly), activating it is hell. This is due to the fact that as soon as you switch that portal on, every known monster, from the little pixelated ones to those that fill up the entire screen, comes a-spawning. It then becomes a challenge to survive until the teleporter is charged up and we couldn't do that by simply rushing straight for the exit!
Stef: Oh, right! Yes, you do have to watch out for your character level and the various power-ups you come across. I get excited whenever we see a chest along the way since it makes me wonder what kind of item I'll get. Some of the power-ups are pretty meh, but the others are really useful. Combine one good item with another powerful one and pretty soon, it'll be like playing in god mode.
Zoto: And that's where Risk of Rain shines. It's being able to accumulate a ton of power-ups and using them in conjunction with your specific character's abilities in order to get that feeling of godhood that you didn't have when playing through the earlier levels. I think it made us both giddy when we felt that we were getting a bit OP due to the myriad of goodies we got!
Stef: Indeed we did! Although it didn't last for very long, because there were too many damn monsters! You have to fight mini-bosses and bosses, and sometimes they spawn at the same time just to make our lives more hellish. What's worse is, there is no Revive item! So if you die or the other player dies, you have to wait until you reach the next level before respawning. That's why it is important which of twelve classes you choose. You start out with the Commando, but you unlock other characters along the way. Oh I know which one's your favorite, Zoto.
Zoto: Oh shut up, Stef! You know that I'd either play as the Bandit (a character that specializes in trickery) or the Miner (who is a combat brawler), the last of which you managed to unlock while I did not for some reason! What was your favorite class, hmmm?
Stef: I don't know how I unlocked the Miner either, maybe because I was hosting the game? Haha, oh my favorite is the tank class of course. The Enforcer's big-ass shield is really handy against a horde of enemies. I can even block a boss's onslaught with that thing!
Zoto: But I bet you can't teleport like the Huntress, heehee! We haven't even unlocked all twelve of the characters as we speak! Risk of Rain may seem simple but there are a lot of unlockables hidden within it. From characters to power-ups, from monster logs to artifacts that change how you play, this is a game that rewards players who keep coming back to it. It's even best-played with a friend, don't you think?
Stef: I can't imagine playing it in single player mode. I'd be devoured by those monsters immediately! But I love the fact that you won't get tired of the game. It's got good replay value, and it doesn't matter if some of the levels look similar with the same old enemies. It's hella fun!
Zoto: Hell yes it is! We played the game for a good eleven hours in co-op and I'm sorry but I just couldn't stay away so I played an extra seventeen hours on my own. I have to say, it's totally doable! Apart from the gameplay, the soundtrack is really good as well, wouldn't you agree?
Stef: There you go with the soundtracks again. Though I'll have to agree with you on this one - the soundtrack is really cool!
I love the graphics, too! Pixels!!! I'm sorry, I'm a sucker for pixel art. But the unique thing I like about the graphics in the game is that your character is just a tiny cluster of pixels onscreen. It just iterates how insignificant you are in the face of those giant monsters and the alien realm you're stuck in.
Zoto: I loved the art style too! Though I found it hard for me to find just where we were on the screen sometimes, haha! The game did make us feel insignificant, but you know what? I'd still play Risk of Rain even though we would most likely get our asses handed to us nine times out of ten. Wouldn't you? (P.S. I was the one who totally finished the game.)
Stef: Whatever, I helped! For a time, haha! But I agree, I wouldn't mind playing this game again and again. It's an awesome experience and if you don't mind dying thousands of times, you'll probably like Risk of Rain too. Hell, we're going to play this again later, aren't we?
Zoto: Of course we are! I still need to get that Miner you totally stole from me. I guess that's the risk of rain right there haha!