Publisher: Sold Out
Release Date: 10/17/2017
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When playing Rogue Trooper I kept asking myself “Why?” to everything. Why is there no plot? Why was this game even considered good enough to remaster? Why did this game exist in the first place? It’s not all bad, definitely playable, and has some challenging gameplay, but it could have been so much more, right? Well, meet Rebellion! Famous for some of the most mediocre games in the early to mid-2000s that weren’t horrible, but barely passable and very forgettable. I played the original on PC back in 2009 and it wasn’t all that great back then either.
You play as a GI named Rogue (how original) who is a blue alien dude stuck in the middle of a war with a race called the Norts. There’s your story, have a nice day! I’m not kidding at all. This game has more plot holes than a screen door and it boggles my mind as to why they even bothered. These GIs are immune to every poison known to exist, okay…but why? Then there is a single poison that was found to work and the Norts want to mass-produce it to wipe out the GIs, again, why? There are no answers just lines of dialog that need a lot of backstories to explain what is even going on. The characters are paper-thin, don’t have much screen time, and the voice acting is atrocious. So the only reason to play Rogue Trooper is for the shooting and that’s average at best.
Rogue has a gun that is “smart” as well as his backpack and helmet. He installs chips that are cut out from dead comrades and it gives his equipment an AI. That’s a pretty neat idea and it’s the only thing in this game that seemed to have been fully fleshed out. Rogue gathers salvage from dead bodies and piles and uses these to craft ammo, new weapons, and upgrades. You don’t pick up any ammo in the game as you can only craft it. You do have a pistol on hand that has infinite ammo in case you run out, but there’s a constant challenge of keeping your supply up and looting dead bodies. There are a few on-rails levels to mix things up, so the game isn’t boring ever, and the challenge is quite nice as standing out in the open for too long will get you dead and there’s a halfway decent cover system in place.
Rogue can also equip a silencer to his machine gun and sniper rifle as well as use a decoy and attraction tool, but I never actually used these. The game even has a stealth mechanic in place, but after I got the silencer I didn’t bother sneaking around as sniper shots are one-hit kills. You can also place your Gunnar as a turret so it can cover doors that get unlocked, but again, this seemed like a wasted mechanic as the game isn’t quite sure if it wanted to be a tactical stealth game or a run-and-gun shooter. This game is a living breathing embodiment of early to mid-2000s third-person shooters and it hasn’t aged very well. Extremely linear level design, awkward animations, barely manageable aiming, and lots of on-rails and scripted events.
At least the game had a marginal graphics update and looks decent enough but you can still see the age of the game behind the shiny new surface. There’s also a multiplayer mode that is basically pointless since no one is playing this online, and never really did, and the entire game can be beaten in just 4 hours. There’s absolutely no reason to go back either. So I go back to my original question, why? Why should you play a dated 15-year-old game in 2019? Maybe to experience a type of shooter that was incredibly popular at the height of the PS2 era? Maybe you have curious memories of this game and want to relive them? The answer is, that you’re not missing out on anything if you skip this, and you don’t gain anything from playing it. Thankfully it’s dirt cheap, and I can only recommend this to the curious.