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Rogue Trooper Redux Review

Rogue's alive?

Though we’re past the peak of the game remaster wave that swept across the industry a couple years ago, we still see tons of game developers and publishers looking to revisit their back catalogue and revive it for a new generation. Depending on the budget, you might end up with a Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy or an abomination like Silent Hill HD Collection, and Rogue Trooper Redux sits somewhere between these two extremes. One thing that’s clear to see is the care and attention that has been lavished on this game, not just to bring it back, but to try and improve it for modern gamers.

Originally released at the tail end of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox era in early 2006, it’s based on the Rogue Trooper comic strip from 2000AD, from the brazenly blue skin of the Genetic Infantry through to the incredibly British feeling and amusingly unimaginative naming of the characters in the game. Your lead character is Rogue, a GI who goes rogue against orders after a botched aerial invasion attempt, to try and hunt down the traitor who led to the hundreds of thousands of GIs wiped out in the invasion, including Rogue’s squad-mates, Gunnar, Bagman and Helm. They’re not dead, though, and live on as retrieved biochips in Rogue’s equipment – I’ll leave you to guess where each of them ends up.

At its core, this is a run and gun third person shooter, but it was also at the forefront of the wave of cover shooters that came to dominate gaming in the last generation. Those mechanics have been updated as part of Redux’s overhaul, with a seamless cover system that lets you shift in and out of cover much more easily, in particular. It feels surprisingly modern, thanks to the efforts to revamp it, though there are still moments where things don’t work quite like you’d expect them to, such as not being able to switch shoulders when controlling Rogue, and occasional kinks to shooting around the edge of cover.

There’s a slightly surprising breadth and depth to the combat abilities and tactics that Rogue and his gang of Biochip enhanced gear are able to pull off. Gunnar can be deployed as a turret and activated remotely to draw enemies away or lock down a particular doorway with fire, and there’s different attachments you can cycle through, from shotgun and sniper to a mortar attack, while Helm can create a Holodecoy that lets you distract enemies or simply invisibly scout out an area, and Bagman is always on hand to turn the salvage you recover into new weapons, grenades, ammo, or spew out a bunch of mines to leave a nasty surprise for any Norts that run through them.

The one dampener on this freedom that you’re given is just how freakishly observant the Norts are. While you’re crouched you make much less noise and can sneak up behind them, and when you’re wearing Helm you’re alable to see where enemies are on the radar and the direction your facing. However, the difference between curiosity at something unusual and all the enemies in the area running around with guns blazing is next to nothing. That would be fine if it felt consistent or there was a decent way to be sure you were hidden from view, but enemies can even spot you when in cover, and all of this meant that every attempt at stealth outside of areas with the Norts strictly placed facing away would end with me being discovered in a jarring fashion.

Rogue Trooper looks surprisingly good for an eleven year old game that debuted on the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox, and it’s down to the sweeping overhaul that TickTock Games have given the graphics. Game models still look dated, but are a significant step up over what was there previously, and the dynamic lighting and improved effects make the game feel much newer than it actually is. There’s an impressive scale to some of the cutscenes in the game, with sweeping flybys of the raging war zone, but at the other end there’s the character led cutscenes that feature facial animation and lip syncing that is amusingly all teeth, all of the time.

Of course, Nu-Earth isn’t exactly the most hospitable of places after hundreds of years of endless war, so prepare yourself for a slog through muddy brown environments and bland industrial and military buildings. The enemies also aren’t particularly distinctive against this backdrop, and can be a little tricky to pick out, even with Gunnar highlighting those near to where you’re aiming. There’s also a lack of real variety in the enemies you face. Yes, some of them have different shades of combat suit, which could indicate that they’ve got a heavier machine gun or are toting shot guns, but outside of the hulking mechs, they’re all just fodder for Gunnar to chew through, sometimes just taking a bit longer to go down.

What’s Good:

  • Through remaster of an 11 year old game
  • Modern feeling cover shooting with great variety
  • A fun action romp of a story
  • I’m blue (da ba dee)

What’s Bad:

  • Cover mechanics sometimes don’t work as expected
  • Freakishly observant AI reduce possibility of stealth
  • Will remind you of when all games were brown and gloomy
  • Teeth. ALl the teeth

Despite showing its age in some places, TickTock Games have done a great job of revitalising a cult classic such as this. Rogue Trooper Redux is a fun cover shooter action romp and worth picking up if you fancy being a big blue badass.

Score: 7/10

Version tested: PlayStation 4 Pro

One Comment
  1. Nate
    Since: Apr 2010

    I’d love to see a remake of the PS2 Judge Dredd off the back of this!

    Comment posted on 17/10/2017 at 11:06.