Streets of Rogue – Preview

The Steam Winter (Summer?) Sale is nearly at an end and so too are all the heavy discounts. Until Easter at least.  My Wishlist of some 50 games was only reduced by about four or five as I found even more things to add to it over the holiday break.

One game that had been on my Wishlist for a little while now was ‘Streets of Rogue‘.  I can’t specifically remember where I first saw the game, whether it was suggested by Steam itself or I caught a YouTube video at some point.  Obviously the first thing that springs to mind when you read the title is the Sega classic Streets of Rage, which I’ll admit the soundtrack and aesthetic (thankfully) borrow from a little.

The game is currently still in Early Access, however those who have bought and played the game have given it an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ review on Steam.  After spending about a dozen hours with the game myself now, it’s easy to understand why.

Before the sale ends you should definitely be taking a look at Streets of Rogue.

Blending with the Streets of Rage aesthetic we also have a dollop of (the original) Deus Ex.  Gameplay is top down and frantic, similar to Hotline Miami, Party Hard or Hero Siege.  You’ll start with a handful of characters you can play with and after meeting certain requirement unlock a dozen more.  Some will require fast-paced melee, others heavy gun play. Others still will see you avoiding combat all together with stealth and thievery.  Or perhaps you’ll simply remote hack terminals and other electronic devices.

Or maybe you’ll just play a zombie and infect the entire city, turning all of the citizens into mindless flesh-eating undead.

And once you’re done with them you can always create your own character using a point buy system.  Keep it reasonable and you’ll still be able to unlock achievements and gain Chicken Nuggets (a currency within the game) or go ham and create the most over-the-top ridiculous character you can at the cost of unavailable unlocks.

Want to play with friends? Not a problem! The game supports local split-screen, local LAN and online co-operative play.  I’ve yet to test any of these myself but, as someone who tends to host a LAN with friends every few months, this title is definitely on the next agenda for a weekend of fun.  I can already see how classes compliment each other nicely and a four player setup could easily consist of a brawler, doctor, hacker and perhaps thief à la the classic Dungeons & Dragons party.

Levels are procedurally generated and come in (currently) four different flavours, starting with the slums and moving higher up the city tiers. You’ll see familiar building blocks but never the same level twice. They are also very destructible which is a lot of fun.  Furniture, doors, walls and more can all be smashed, exploded (and in certain cases) picked up and thrown.

Visually the game is running with a 16-bit feel and looks akin to something you’d see on a Super Nintendo Console.  Music is a bit more modern though and the soundtrack is excellent with a definite Streets of Rage feel.  Thankfully you can grab the soundtrack on Steam as well, either in a bundle or separately.

One concern for a lot of consumers with Early Access on Steam is the possibility for developers to become lazy and not finish the game or have little contact with their customers.  We’ve all seen it time and time again.  Thankfully this doesn’t appear to be the case with Streets of Rogue.  Updates are regular and the developer is very active on the Steam forums, answering my question inside of an hour.

The publisher, tinyBuild Games also has a slew of excellent titles under their belt including Party Hard, Hello Neighbor, Punch Club and more.  This team know a winner when they see it.

There is very little to fault with Streets of Rogue and, being that it’s still in an Alpha stage, what few niggling problems there are can be forgiven at this stage.  This game is easily worth the normal $14.99 USD (~$19.11 AUD) asking price; you’ll definitely get your monies worth.  At the current 50% Winter Sale discount it’s an absolute steal!

Steam Page

The launch trailer is a few months old now but it still gives you a fair idea of the game in action –

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