REVIEW: ‘Risk of Rain 2,’ A Co-op Experience to Remember (PS4)

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Risk of Rain 2

Risk of Rain 2 is a third-person roguelike video game developed by Hopoo Games and published by Gearbox Publishing. Similar to its predecessor, Risk of Rain 2 places players in the shoes of one of the surviving members of a cargo spaceship that has crash-landed on an unknown planet where absolutely everything is trying to kill you. Your objective is to fight through the local fauna to activate a teleporter. Once activated, the teleporter summons an even bigger, badder enemy that will challenge not only your skills but your ability to work together as a team. Upon defeating the boss (or bosses), and staying within the area around the teleporter for a specified time period, the teleporter will allow you to leave the planet only to be plopped down onto the next hazardous planet. The game goes on like this, from one planet to the next, introducing new stages, novel enemies, and new items until the entirety of your team dies or you give up.

This redundancy might seem like a disadvantage but with the use of procedurally generated levels, enemies, and items, each playthrough is very different than the last. This is definitely not a story-forward game, focusing solely on action and overcoming each wave of enemies while trying to stay alive. With the fact that each level brings a plethora of loot and experience, you level up fairly quickly. This way, an enemy that was once a boss becomes just another minion. But, just as the players level up, so do the enemies in each stage. If you don’t keep up, it’s easy to be overwhelmed, especially since the enemy level increases based on time, not stage. And there’s no end to this leveling; the leveling system is literally infinite and will test your sanity.

The game further diversifies itself from its predecessor by allowing players to unlock more playable characters, each sporting their own set of unique abilities and attacks. These novel characters support a wide range of playstyles, making any type of player feel welcomed to the madness that is Risk of Rain 2. Multiplayer leads to a chaotic mix of characters that make for a very different experience each time you start a playthrough.

Similarly, new items can be unlocked by completing levels and unlocking achievements, leading up to a whopping 75 potential items to collect. Although this isn’t a story forward game, there is lore to collect in the form of environment, monster, and item logs. There are also plenty of mysteries to discover throughout the beautiful maps, from hidden rooms to portals that will lead you to new dimensions. All of these facts lead to a game that has immense replayable qualities.

Risk of Rain 2

The graphics aren’t the most intricate, but the simplicity fits this game well and has a beauty in and of itself. Each world is unique and posits designs that can create unique challenges for players but can also be a boon for the savvy. The character and enemy designs are visually interesting. The designs of the enemies are also done in an intelligent way that reveals much about an enemy’s attack capability before you even engage in combat. Although there are a plethora of different enemies to encounter, the longer you play the more redundant they seem. This honestly can’t be helped given that you can struggle through an infinite number of stages every run you start. 

I can’t stress this enough about this game: co-op is where it’s at. The game is fine in singleplayer, but there’s a lot of magic when you’ve got a team with you. The game allows for up to 4 players and allows private games or public games to be created. If you’re worried about fighting over coins or loot, if anyone on your team kills an enemy, everyone gets coins that they can then spend on what they wish. But the greatness of multiplayer comes in using your abilities together. Cooperating to take down even the biggest, baddest enemy is extremely fulfilling.

Risk of Rain 2 isn’t quite complete, although it’s not a beta. There is some additional content that you can see in the game but just can’t interact with yet. Despite the game still pending some updates, it’s an extremely solid game that allows for hours of play.

With its procedurally generated levels, infinite leveling system, a plethora of items and characters to unlock, and some beautiful and intelligent world designs, Risk of Rain 2 is a co-op experience you won’t forget anytime soon.

Risk of Rain 2 is available now on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC.

Risk of Rain 2
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

With its procedurally generated levels, infinite leveling system, a plethora of items and characters to unlock, and some beautiful and intelligent world designs, Risk of Rain 2 is a co-op experience you won’t forget anytime soon.