Tag Archives: co-op

On Heavy Rainfall

Blaugust Post #22

This was supposed to be a post months ago, but it got written on paper and never typed up. I’ve since lost it.

Risk of rain is a mostly platformer with rogue-like elements. It’s (so far) my favorite example of such, although it’s quickly becoming a crowded genre (Spleunky, Rogue Legacy, and the recent Warlocks Vs. Shadows all qualify). I find Risk of Rain interesting largely because of the risk/reward mechanism of its time mechanic.



The primary goal of Risk of Rain is to get to the final level (which is always the UES Contact Light), beat the final boss, and leave the planet that you crashed on. This is accomplished by playing through a minimum of 5 other levels, finding and activating the teleporter in each level, and surviving through the wave of enemies that assault you when you do this. Enemies also spawn naturally over time, at a rate determined by what level you’re on, and how long you’ve been playing the current game. The largest difference in difficulty settings is how quickly this process occurs.

There are 12 characters, 11 of which must be unlocked, and 10 different stages, where which ones you visit are determined semi-randomly. Each of the first 4 levels will be one of 2 options, level 5 is always the Ancient Temple. After that, you can either start revisiting levels or move on to the end of the game. Along the way you will pick up a wide variety of items, mostly randomly determined. There are a few places to influence what items you get, as well as a really big way that you can eventually unlock.

RoR Golems


One of the more interesting things about Risk of rain to me is the character variety. You start off with just the commando, who is fairly decent, but I find somewhat boring. The thing is, starting out, you’re going to die on the first level. You’re going to die on the first level probably more than once. Despite this, you can be making progress toward unlocking the other characters. Beating the three boss options on level 1 will unlock the enforcer. Collecting enough drones will eventually get you the engineer. Enough monster logs will get you the huntress, but there aren’t actually enough monster types until you get to the second level(s) consistently.

Then there are the ones that you won’t unlock by chance. The Sniper requires that you beat the game once, and the Mercenary that you do it 5 times. There are also a few that you need to find, which requires that you a) get the right level, and b) get the version that has that character. HAN-D is a bit easier (in a manner of speaking) because he’s in the final stage, and will therefore always be there if you can get that far.

RoR Trouble


The other interesting thing is the item selection. The longer you spend on a stage, the more money you have to open chests and get items, but the harder the enemies will be, making for a generally enjoyable risk/reward mechanism. Some items are better for some characters than others: Acrid tends to kill things while they’re clumped up, so the item that causes enemies to explode on death is amazing. The command attacks extremely quickly, and so gets more out of items like the ukulele or missiles.

Recently artifacts were added, and these let you modify the game in some ways, which can make things easier or harder, depending. One in particular, Command, allows you to choose what items you get (within the bounds of rarity). Glass cuts your health to only 10%, but makes you do significantly more damage.

RoR Artifact

Co-op doesn’t use Steamworks, so it’s a little iffy. Even so, this is one of the best small indie games I’ve experienced. It goes on sale for very few dollars pretty often, so take a look.

On Original Sin

There were several candidate topics for today, but after playing this game on Monday, it took over most of today’s post. I would apologize, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be hearing about the others eventually.

Divinity: Original Sin

It’s looking like a good year for isometric RPGs. Shadowrun: Dragonfall came out in February and it is excellent. Pillars of Eternity is due out at the end of the year and I have relatively high hopes for it. In between those lies this game, that I completely overlooked both when it was on Kickstarter and later as it appeared on Steam Early Access. The most recent game in a relatively old series, Divinity: Original Sin is an isometric RPG with turn-based battles (similar to Shadowrun Returns or Wasteland 2 in that sense) and is a prequel to the first game in the series, Divine Divinity. (Yes, I think Divine Divinity is a silly title.) Set in the fantasy world of Rivellon, Divinity: OS places you in the role of a pair of Source Hunters, members of an elite group tasked with eliminating Sourcery (spelling 100% taken from Terry Pratchett). I don’t know much else about the plot at this time, but that’s really not what attracted me to the game.

With Friends Like These

Since there are effectively two main characters, the entire game can be played in co-op. If you are joined by a partner during character creation, each person will control one character, otherwise you’ll customize both before setting out. From there, the characters are tossed into the world, free to make independent dialogue choices and combat decisions. Actually playing this way was a lot of fun, and in cases where you and your partner disagree on a course of action, it’s resolved with Rock, Paper, Scissors which is influenced by your stats. You can even escape from combat without your partner, but you may have to locate a resurrection spell if things don’t work out.

Artes Magicae and Artes Militia

As one might expect from an RPG going for an old-school look and feel, there are a plethora of skills that can be improved, abilities that can be learned, and stats governing the use of those. In a slight break from D&D, the stats are Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Constitution, Speed, and Perception, which mostly cover the things you’d expect. There are skills for each weapon type, five schools of magic (four of which cover the traditional elements), weapon special attacks, roguish things, and some more non-combat skills. These combine to determine the power of the abilities you can use in combat, like a charge attack that has a chance of knocking down things you hit (based on strength), or a spell that does damage and has a chance to blind (based on intelligence).

Putting the ‘R’ In

I spent several hours with this game on Monday, and I’m looking forward to the release date (June 30) so I can play through for real. Of those hours, very few of them were spent in combat. There’s just so much to do, and the writing is both odd and funny. If you’ve played other Divinity games, you may have some idea of what to expect. I haven’t played enough to speak to long-term balance or the overarching narrative, but if this is what we can expect from modern games in this style, I hope we get many more.