Rogue Trooper was a cult-classic third-person shooter that came out in 2006 to pretty good reviews overall. It was praised for the varied gameplay that it had, the cool backstory (from the 2000 A.D. comics), and was even nominated for a BAFTA (the screenplay, that is.) For 2006, it was a welcome addition to the shooter genre, and it maintained a decent little group of fans all of these years.
Fast-forward to now.
We’ve got Rogue Trooper Redux, which is basically just an HD re-skin of the game, like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Everything is a little bit more defined, a little shinier, characters are a little more detailed, etc. However, something I noticed was that I think they sort-of layered all of the new textures on top of the old ones because there was some weird clipping going on in cutscenes. Stuff clipping through environments is nothing new in video games, but when your helmet is clipping through your safety harness in a first-person cutscene, it looks…bad. In fact, seeing this game again for the first time in so long, even with the HD graphics, is a reminder that it really hasn’t aged well. I think I would have rather gotten a new game altogether, like a sequel or spin-off, because this game did not need a re-skin with a twenty-five dollar price tag.
The graphics upgrade is really not up to snuff with current gen games, and I don’t even just mean AAA games. There are plenty of games made by smaller companies that this game can’t even hold a candle to—I’m not really sure what the thought process was. Each level seems like they just picked a color and washed out the level with that color. Whether it be blue, green, brown, or any number of drab colors, each level looks pretty damn monotone. Looking at comparative screenshots from the first game, sometimes the old game actually looked a little bit more colorful, though that could just be me wishing.
A big selling point of the original was how varied the gameplay was, but I’m not exactly sure that it’s still like that. This game feels like an absolutely average game is every single way—except for the lore and story, which is still slightly above average. The gameplay is nowhere near as revolutionary or fresh as it used to be, and the voice acting is delightfully hammy, but never in a grating way. It sounds like the voice actors were trying and having a good time getting into their roles.
Aside from that, though, it’s average, and even a little bit clunky and unresponsive at times—especially with the cover system. I swear to god, sometimes you just don’t get in cover when you’re supposed to, and reloading any weapons takes so long. Don’t you dare have the trigger held down while you’re reloading, either, because you will not start firing when you’re done reloading. You’ll just stand there like a dummy and die. The whole game has some serious feedback issues. Half of the time I can’t tell if I’m throwing a grenade when I hit the button. Rogue Trooper Redux is just so damn slow, clunky, and unresponsive; I don’t know if the original was like that.
Hell, sometimes the camera gets so close to me that I can’t even see my character anymore, and for no apparent reason. Like, I might expect this in very tight hallways, but sometimes it just kinda happens when I turn the camera. It’s annoying.
Rogue Trooper was pretty good in 2006, but in 2017, it’s just really average. There are so many better, more compelling third-person shooters that have come out since then. Hell, Gears of War came out less than a year after the first Rogue Trooper, and we all know how successful that series ended up being. A sequel or spin-off probably would have come out a lot better than the HD re-skin that we got. And the online co-op multiplayer is completely passable unless you and your friends are die-hard fans of the series.
If you never played the original, it’s much cheaper to just go back and play that. The graphical upgrade isn’t that amazing. It’s certainly something, but it’s still nothing compared to most games nowadays. I would say that for anyone who’s not already a fan of Rogue Trooper, this is a hard pass unless you really think that you need to experience somewhat of a cult game.
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