Risk of Rain was a successful platformer that released in 2016. It had all the snooty elements of a game that would be a cult hit: 8-bit graphics, extreme difficulty (because you must compensate with difficulty if you are a 2D game), and a multiplayer format. The game was designed to have one objective — Survival. In essence, it was a regular platformer with multiple levels. But you wouldn’t be able to clear a level by watching a standardised playthrough.
Every level was completely randomised — and every attempt would be different. The monsters (in any number) would be randomly thrown at you. The aim was to clear through them without risking your health, earn in-game money, and then proceed to collect more items only to be thrown into another monster battle with higher-level bosses.
Now, the developers decided to release Risk of Rain 2. If we were in the 2000s, Risk of Rain 2 would be comparable to the SPY Kids movie series sequel SPY kids 3D: Game Over. That’s precisely what this is — a 3D version of the original game. The developers had taken a risk with ruining its ‘Platformer’ cult status. Would it be another disappointing sequel?
It took some time to sink into it, the first attempt had me cluelessly running around in circles in an undefined map (I thought I’d been fooled into playing another Battle Royale) — not an entirely smooth experience, since it is still in Early Access (a Beta stage). The game gets more difficult, the more time you spend on it. With time, you get the hang of it. You understand it is important to retaliate with a storm of your unlimited ammo against the slight drizzle of the enemies.
In-game scores unlock items and characters. It’s as if you don’t want to finish the level just to see to see how much more destructive it could get. The lizard guys, the Dalek monsters and the exploding jellyfish are back in RoR 2 — running behind you all the time as you strafe and shoot at them. RoR 2 is a game you could play if you are in exceptionally bad mood — to make it worse at first, and then suddenly make it better.