Rogue Trooper Redux reminds me that Rogue Trooper happens to be one of my all time favourite characters from 2000AD alongside Dredd, Slaine and Nemesis the Warlock. I purchased the original game on its day of release back in 2006 for the PC and recently sourced a copy for my PS2, since I enjoy it that much.
The story behind Rogue Trooper is how it all started and his reasons for revenge. War broke out on Earth between the Norts & Southers. These two sides are very reminiscent of the Nazis and Allies during World War II. The Norts start taking planets that are in Souther space, so war continues to rage on elsewhere in the galaxy between these opposing sides. Due to all the fighting and various weapons being used, the air becomes toxic, rivers run acidic and the planet is uninhabitable without chemical resistance suits and domes for living. This is where the GIs (Genetic Infantrymen) come in; they are bred for war, grown in test tubes and can survive Nu Earth’s hostile environment without the need for hazard suits giving them the edge in battle.
Their first deployment is to the Quartz Zone for a surprise attack which the Southers hope will turn the tide of battle. However, the entire unit of GIs are wiped out down to a Traitor General who sold them out (known as The Quartz Zone Massacre). Rogue, who happens to be aptly named, heads out to avenge his fallen comrades with a bit of help from his three buddies: Bagman, Gunnar and Helm. Of course, these buddies get killed within the first hour of the game and their biochips are slotted into Rogue’s equipment (no prizes for guessing which name goes with each piece of equipment!)
The gameplay remains largely unchanged from the 2006 original. There are 13 levels in total, with a few on-rails shooter sections and a final boss battle in an arena-type setting. For each level, you are given a set objective to reach. To complete a level, you’ll be given sub-objectives on the fly, which involves things like hacking a door panel while fending off a few enemies, and so on. Each of the objectives are in sequence, which makes the levels linear, shuttling you ever forwards.
Each level can be played in a few different ways: you can, if you wish, go in guns blazing, taking out enemies while you run-and-gun. The flip side to this, is that you can go stealthy and quiet, using the extra abilities given to you by your biochip buddies. You can add a silencer to your weapon, deploy a hologram to attract an enemy snipers fire, or deploy Gunnar as a turret, which will enable you to flank enemies when he starts firing to attract them. As you progress at key points in the game, you’ll unlock extra weapons and modifications to your kit (usually when you will need it). Items like Mortars & SAM launcher for Gunnar, Bagman can hold more med kits and ammo etc. Spending time finding salvage and collecting it after you kill an enemy keeps supplies topped up, nicely.
Visually, the game now looks great. I do still like the original version graphics, as the rough edges suit the setting perfectly. Cutscenes have been tidied up and the slight changes to the GIs look have been incorporated in the scenes. Visual effects have been upgraded and all terrain, buildings and character models have been updated to be more in-line with other modern games. The new cover system is a little hit & miss, though. Occasionally, the automatic snap-into-cover just doesn’t work as it should, and you are stood there as a target dummy for the enemy. Another gripe I have, is the camera, at times, can be a bit frustrating. If a wall is close behind you, your reticule can end up directly in front of you, and you can’t see what you’re shooting at, as Rogue can be in the way. Other times when you are in-cover, you’ll get the targeting reticule lining up incorrectly, or not going the way you want it to. This could be a controller gripe, though, as I did play through with an Xbox 360 controller. When playing with a mouse, the game controls much better and it’s easier to pull off headshots or hit oxygen tanks on enemies’ backs.
Multiplayer is Co-Op play only. There are no PvP modes. The two modes you have are Progressive and Stronghold. Progressive will see you holding a certain point on a map, while waves of enemies come at you; and Stronghold sees you dashing through an enemy hot zone with a time limit to get to an extraction point. These two modes can be played as single-player or with other players online. However, it feels a bit bare bones, in all honesty. Looking today and during the evening, there aren’t very many online games going on presently. Hopefully more people will start playing as the days go on.
All in all, Rogue Trooper Redux is a great update to an older game. Players who enjoy Gears of War will most likely enjoy the campaign, as will fans of the comic series, as well as people who enjoy Sci-Fi-themed games. The campaign length is a bit short, coming in at six hours, and I played through it to completion in two sittings, but enjoyed every minute of it.
I am hoping that Rebellion have something up their sleeve for Rogue Trooper in the future, and they are using this to test the water. I have read that Grant Morrison is going to be writing a screenplay for Sam Worthington’s production company. Hopefully this will be the start of bigger things for Rogue Trooper and his biochip buddies in the future.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Developer: Rebellion
- Publisher: Sold Out Sales and Marketing
- Players: single player, multi-player co-op
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!