Developer: TickTock Games
Release Date: 17/10/2017
Format(s): Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
When Rogue Trooper Redux was initially revealed it came as a bit of a surprise to me – a pleasant surprise, but one that seemed peculiar given that it was never really a mainstream release to begin with. I never got around to playing it when it first came out in 2006, but it always intrigued me since I’d read a lot of the original comic that it was based upon. Now I’ve got the chance to play the revamped game myself there’s no doubting that there’s a charm to the experience, though it’s one that has aged a little too much to really be considered essential playing amongst all of the modern action-packed shooters that are available on current gen consoles right now.
Rogue Trooper Redux is based upon the 2000 AD comic of the same name, putting you in the shoes of the titular hero as he faces off in a war on the planet Nu Earth against the vicious Norts. However, things take a turn for the worst when his Souther army are betrayed by one of their own Generals and Rogue finds himself the only living member of his race. Thus begins a journey for revenge as he looks to kill the Traitor General and maybe even a few Norts along the way…
As mentioned, it’s all based off of a comic and in fairness it sticks to the source material quite well. The story moves along nicely and whilst the focus on all-out action doesn’t do much to make you feel too much empathy towards Rogue Trooper, it will do enough to make you want to slay as many Norts as you can. It’s all a little predictable, but it’s good fun nonetheless.
The original game released in the PS2 era, though you wouldn’t really be able to tell in Rogue Trooper Redux thanks to the effort that has gone into re-creating the game’s assets and remastering it’s look. It hasn’t just had a lick of HD paint, but instead seen a real effort made to make it look better.
In fairness, it really managed to impress me at times; sure, it never had the detail and fidelity of the modern releases we’re used to, but some areas of levels could still pass for a game that started life in the current gen. It’s all thanks to some revamped HD textures and some clever lighting work, but it works well and ensures that Rogue Trooper Redux really does have its moments where it looks fantastic. It helps that everything runs at a very steady 60 fps too, with all the gunplay and action-packed showdowns with foes looking slick when in motion.
That being said, it could be a bit of a mixed bag at times and the same high quality isn’t evident throughout the entirety of the game. In fact, some levels look so dull and bland that you’d hardly tell they’d have been remastered at all outside of the fact they’re in HD. There’s a certain chunkiness to some level’s design that it’s abundantly clear that you’re playing through what was an old Playstation 2 and Xbox game, whilst the fact that some levels feature the same dull colour tones that gamers were already sick of years ago doesn’t help either (even if holding that against a game that first released over ten years ago might be a little unfair).
Gameplay-wise, Rogue Trooper Redux simply feels like a traditional third-person shooter that doesn’t do anything overly special, which given that it’s over ten years old might be a given. A new revamped cover system has been put in place, though that doesn’t feel much different to just about anything I’ve played already. That being said, if I played it in 2006 the cover system might’ve felt a lot more revolutionary, but in this day and age it’s just one of the features that’ve come to be expected from most third-person action games.
Whilst nothing feels particularly revolutionary though, nothing is every bad either. In fact, I quite enjoyed playing through Rogue Trooper Redux regardless of its lack of originality. Levels are big and open and whilst they’re a little linear in design, they offer plenty of different ways for you to play. Want to go all guns blazing and shooting at opponents with no care in the world? Do it. Or would you rather sneak around and take enemies out with a stealthy approach? Go all ‘Solid Snake’ on your foes instead. What Rogue Trooper Redux lacks in innovation it makes up for in diversity, whilst the fact that it’s enjoyable enough to play anyway only strengthens this approach.
You’ve got plenty of different tools at your disposal too, with the player able to place turrets, plant mines, launch grenades at enemies, and even use a hologram to lure enemies away. You’re certainly well equipped to take down your enemies and doing so is a lot of fun. Hell, you’ll even be using the environment itself to take down enemies as well as mortar fire, so you won’t run out of killing techniques fast.
There’s even a crafting system in place, though it’s a bit awkward to use and breaks up gameplay quite a bit. You’ve got to actively go into the menu every time you want to use it, which in most games is common place but given the quick pace of Rogue Trooper Redux’s action just felt annoying when I needed a refill of ammo. I’ve said it time and time again already in this review, but I think it’s just a case of the game showing its age when compared to more modern releases. Still, it can’t be ignored.
Those who want their fix of multiplayer action can jump on Rogue Trooper Redux’s online co-op modes, which allows up to four players to work together to take out countless enemy scum. There are two modes available in total with both offering something completely different, though unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try them before writing this review – playing a pre-release version of the game meant that the online community wasn’t particularly active. Given that the game is quite fun to play in single player though, I can imagine the online modes could be a good laugh if you’ve got a few friends together to tackle them.
There’s actually a whole lot that I liked about Rogue Trooper Redux and I enjoyed blasting through its campaign, but unfortunately it was clear that I was playing a game that felt incredibly dated in design. It feels like an unfair comparison to make, but when compared to modern action games it didn’t hold up that well – not to the point of being a bad game, but instead more to the point that there are better modern action games that I could be spending my time playing instead.
Still, there’s an undeniable charm to Rogue Trooper Redux and there’s certainly potential for the experience to last longer thanks to the online co-op options. It’s got a low price point too, so it might be worth a purchase if you’ve already exhausted the current crop of action games that’re available right now. Just know that you’ll playing a game that despite being remastered, still feels like it belongs in 2006.