By Taylor Rodriguez
Staff reporter

My heart has always contained a soft spot for roguelikes. “Risk of Rain 2” has managed to fill that space in my heart that most other games seem to be lacking.

Games like “Faster than Light,” “Darkest Dungeon” and even “Spelunky” have each been my favorite roguelikes at one time or another. Since it’s full release last month, “Risk of Rain 2” has stolen all of my free time and energy outside of my daily tasks. 

Before beginning a run, you must select a character. At the start, you only have access to the Commando. Eventually, you can unlock nine other survivors. My personal favorite is Loader.

Generally, roguelikes are a subgenre of role-playing video games consisting of crawling through procedurally generated maps, slower-paced, turn-based combat and permanent death of your character.

However, RoR2 has entirely changed how I view roguelikes.

Extremely fast-paced gameplay, days of replayability, a splendid re-imagining of the prequel’s soundtrack by the same composer, Chris Christodoulou, and the ability to become exponentially more powerful the longer you play. 

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A typical “Risk of Rain 2” run will look something like this. Be sure to stay on your toes, don’t forget your teddy bears, and remember to have fun!

RoR2 embodies every one of these aspects and so much more. 

You begin the game as a survivor of a spaceship flying off course through the infinite cosmos. Pulled towards a mysterious planet devoid of life, you and your crew explore the surface of this planet hoping to find more answers as to why you ended so far off course.

The game provides you with the Commando, the first of ten unlockable characters. He is a jack-of-all-trades soldier wielding akimbo style pistols with low mobility. 

A normal game of “Risk of Rain” involves being jettisoned in an escape pod to the surface of this mysterious planet to explore. Wave after wave, you, and up to three friends can slay hordes of increasingly difficult enemies and bosses as you traverse the various stages.

The first stage can be one of two different stages you start on. Players go through five stages before looping back to the first stage. This stage is known as Distant Roost.

Swarms of knee-high beetles, dangerous fiery wisps, stone golems that shoot laser beams, even giant, floating, electric jellyfish are some of the enemies you can encounter.

Across the surface of this planet, you can find dozens of items and equipment that can help, or hinder, your adventure through this mysterious planet.

The further you progress, the stronger, faster and healthier you become. This, however, can be said for the enemy as well. You need to be able to balance your mobility and strength to survive this dangerous world.

No two runs in RoR2 will be the same. Random enemies, items and bosses spawn every time you begin anew. This provides for a fresh experience every time you play, making the game extremely hard to get bored of.

The longer you play, the more atmospheric and cryptic the stages become. Even on stage two, you are faced with mysterious constructions that leave you awestruck in their presence.

I mean, I have dumped nearly 160 hours into this game and have no intention of stopping any time soon.

Even if I were to get bored with the gameplay, I would get sucked in by the atmosphere and music presented by the game.

Each level has its own theme and set of tracks that can play when you begin a new game, keeping you and your ears interested. These can also change with the difficulty setting you choose to play on, whether that is Drizzle (easy), Rainstorm (normal) or Monsoon (hard).

If you don’t plan on playing the game, at least go check out the soundtrack for the game. I often find myself humming or tapping to the rhythm and melodies of the soundtrack while working out or doing homework.

Beating the game can be very rewarding. There is a second way to beat the game called obliterating. By “obliterating,” you can unlock a special skin for your favorite survivor.

Not many companies will let you do what “Risk of Rain 2” allows you to. 

Normally, a gaming studio will be upset when you try to become too strong and ruin the balance of a game. Hopoo Studios allows you to grow infinitely stronger without any sort of check to keep you from becoming too powerful.

To sum it all up, “Risk of Rain” is a must-have game for someone who wants a fun, endless, bang for your buck co-op compatible game.

With it being released on all platforms, and the full PC release coming to consoles mid to late October, what other reasons are there to not get it?

I rate “Risk of Rain 2” a 9/10 for fast, fun, cooperative gameplay, a strikingly complex, yet simple soundtrack, endless replayability and a low purchase price of $24.99 for the PC version.