Best Shots Review: ROGUE TROOPER REDUX 'Still a Visceral Good Time' - 8/10

Still from 'Rogue Trooper Redux'
Credit: Rebellion Developments

Rogue Trooper Redux
Developed by Rebellion Developments and TickTock Games
Published by Rebellion Developments
Available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One
Review by Justin Partridge
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Old-school fun and versatile combat herald the return of 2000 A.D. to consoles in Rogue Trooper Redux. A remaster of the 2006 cult hit for the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox, Redux puts players back in control of Rogue, the titular Souther G.I. (Genetic Infantry) locked in eternal struggle with the Norts and their deadly machines of war across the surface of Nu-Earth. Though slightly marred by a cranky control scheme and a somewhat lacking multiplayer mode, Rogue Trooper Redux is a visceral and beautiful throwback to a more straightforward era in gaming. While the landscape of action-adventure games and shooters have expanded outward and become dominated by group/squad-based mechanics, Rogue Trooper Redux stands as a brutally fun, warts-and-all experience that captures the essence of its source material and original mechanics for new and returning players alike.

With British comics staple Gordon Rennie loosely adapting his print run on Rogue Trooper, the game takes players through a sort of walking tour of the IP, throwing plenty of baddies and objective-based missions in your way as you progress through the campaign. The script was nominated for a BAFTA in 2006, so already it carries hefty credentials when it comes to being a faithful adaptation of the 2000 A.D. mainstay. Though the story-driven campaign, players see just how well the game marries its plot with game mechanics in order to give players a fully immersive experience.

Early in the game, the rest of Rogue’s squad is wiped out, but as they are G.I.’s, their “biochips” can be quickly inserted into equipment in order for their clone “lives” to go on. Gunnar (the player’s main weapon), Bagman (your equipment pack), and Helm (kinda speaks for itself) become your saving grace in the field, acting as your anthropomorphic wingmen, storing all manner of weapons and upgrades and hacking into secure locations for salvage or to take the fight to the Norts while Gunnar screams hilariously hokey voice-overed encouragement.

After you get these upgrades, the game and its beautifully rendered carnage really opens itself up to the players. Though the missions are usually fairly straightforward (doubly so if the player is familiar with the original Rogue Trooper trades), the versatility offered to the player on how to progress through the mission is really a treat. The original game was a pioneer for cover-based shooters and the Redux takes that and improves on that by offering a “dynamic” cover system allowing players to shift quickly in and out of the multiple cover positions when things get hot.

But say you want to spice it up a little, and think outside the box on how you tackle objectives? Well, fella, you are in luck, because Rogue Trooper Redux gives you all manner of ways to deal out pain. Armed with varying types of grenades, micro-mines, Gunnar, and all manner of upgrades like the shotgun, beam rifle, and trusty mortar launcher, players can live out their ‘80s action movie fantasies in a richly remastered science fiction world. If you want to take a more crafty approach, deploy Gunnar like a sentry gun and throw out some micro-mines in order to lure unsuspecting Norts into a trap. More of a stealth person? Use Rogue’s crouched position in order to quietly overtake pillboxes and Nort weaponry only to turn it back on the enemy without them even knowing you were there.

The gameplay variety even somewhat extends to the types of game modes players can take on. If you have had enough of the main campaign, move over to the Stronghold or Progression modes, which pits players against waves of enemies in timed, objective based challenges. The lack of a competitive multiplayer will continue to irk the players it irked in 2006 when the original game lacked it, but the Redux version of multiplayer is still a decent enough time. Matchmaking you with other players, you randomly spawn on a map, given an objective, and are then left to defend yourselves; basically just an online version of the game’s Stronghold and Progression modes. Though this game type captures the frantic, twitchy tone of early 2000s co-op multiplayer, one can’t help but feel that the inclusion of competitive play would have taken this remaster from good to great.

Missed opportunities with multiplayer aside, Rogue Trooper Redux is still a visceral good time, one that leans into the fussy, sometimes frustrating design of older action titles. Packed with dramatically updated graphics and plenty of pulpy, run-and-gun thrills, Rogue Trooper Redux brings the spirit of ‘06 back to the current generation of consoles.

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