From developer TickTock Games Ltd and publisher RebellionInteract we have Rogue Trooper Redux, the remastered version of the 2006 strategic third-person shooter that has a heavy emphasis on using the cover filled landscape in order to advance through an intense war to bring down the Traitor General.
On the planet Nu-Earth there is a perpetual war going on between the Norts and Southers that has resulted in the deaths of millions. As a result of the wide variety of weapons used during the war, troops on both sides are unable to venture outside of their enclosed cities unless otherwise suited up in specialized protective gears. The troops on the Norts’ side use specially developed bio-suits, while the Southers’ troops have created a race of genetically enhanced super soldiers who are immune to the deadly atmosphere and all other toxins, diseases, and weaponry… Or so they thought… The Souther High Command deployed this secret weapon during an airborne assault, but a traitor general revealed this secret to the Norts and the resulting Quartz Zone Massacre wiped out all of the Southers’ Genetic Infantrymen (G.I.s). Among all the carnage there is one lone surviving G.I. named Rogue who decides to track down the Traitor General responsible for the massacre to avenge the rest of his G.I.s. Along the way he has to single-handedly combat the Norts in an intense skirmish in order to succeed in his mission!
I always have mixed feelings about remastered games. When I play through titles that receive the remake treatment I usually feel one of three ways; completely blown away by the enhancements to the original story and gameplay mechanics, incredibly disappointed that the remaster didn’t include necessary fixes or updates to specific elements of the game, or, lastly, a general sense of confusion as to why this remastered title was made in the first place. Now I won’t go as far as to say that Rogue Trooper Redux shouldn’t have been recreated for the current generation of consoles, but I will say that there are plenty of things that I encountered during my play-through that make this game feel exactly like what it is, a simple HD remastering of a game that is 11 years old and showing that age.
The gameplay for Rogue Trooper Redux is that of a shooter that uses the third-person perspective. This basic control layout, rather than innovating in any way, often feels very cumbersome and clunky. In addition, the constant pressure to utilize a dated cover mechanic becomes redundant and ultimately unnecessary based purely on the lack of competency shown in the A.I. Much of my frustration during my play-through came when I would try to focus my weapon’s sight on an enemy in order to make the stealth kill. More often than not I would be using the cover of the environment while doing this and the combination of these two gameplay actions seemed to throw everything off with my game. It became a processing battle between appropriately focusing the sight and also keeping the camera fixed in the third-person perspective. This lead to many times where I would have to abandon cover to get some steady focus and ultimately resulted in a pillar mechanic of the gameplay experience becoming irrelevant in that I didn’t need cover in the first place and I felt like I was wasting my time trying to get it to work effectively.
For being a smaller scale title, there are plenty of different weapon options in this game. The game takes a unique spin on unlocking these through the use of salvaging different materials from your environments in order to upgrade or unlock weapons. The frustrating thing about this feature is that only a few of the unlockable weapons feel necessary, and even if the new weapons were necessary you would be frustrated by the insanely long weapon switching times that are plaguing this game. This brutally long switch time makes using any weapon other than your sniper rifle incredibly tedious. When you pair that with the fact that you can sneak around and take out enemies with enough efficiency without switching weapons and you’ve got an expansive content library that feels incredibly underutilized.
Ammunition and additional health packs are also handled in a rather unconventional and unique way in this game. Instead of picking up ammo or health from enemies, you use the loot you gather to replenish your health packs, ammunitions, and grenades. This is all made possible because of the additionally unique gameplay mechanic that sees Rogue take the microchips of his dead G.I.s and use them as enhancements to his weaponry. He’s able to do this because each of the microchips that are implanted into the minds of the super soldiers contains the subconscious of a specific individual. This take on the life of a soldier means that they can’t ever really die and there subconscious will simply be uploaded onto the weaponry of others or even re-implanted into a new genetically engineered body to go and fight another day. This morbid concept of life only adds to the bleak nature of the story present in Rogue Trooper Redux.
While there isn’t much to be said about the gameplay innovations or campaign for the game, the graphical updates are quite nice to experience and to look at and are a welcome sign from this remake. It’s just very unfortunate that for a game that looks so nice it doesn’t feel like the rest of the game elements were given as much thought or improvement and tend to fall short in most areas.
Rogue Trooper Redux was a game that I really wanted to like. I appreciate the game’s ability to stay true to the original comic source material, which was something the original title did so well, but too many things played into the ultimate downfall of this game for me. The clunky controls—paired with odd gameplay decisions like the insanely long weapon switching times, lack of intelligence in the A.I., and an overall easy campaign mode—make this game difficult to want to play for more than a few hours. That much time alone won’t even get you through the main campaign. Once you throw in the $25 asking price for this game all you are left with is an incredibly hard sell for any fan of shooters, especially considering the large number of successful franchises that have been created for this genre. For all of the potential to bring back this cult classic, it falls well short of being a NintenDeal.
A native of Minnesota, Brandon has been an avid Nintendo fan for as long as he can remember and enjoys being able to escape into the vast worlds offered in their games. Some of his favorite games include: Pokemon Blue & Silver, Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Risk of Rain 2, and of course LoZ: Breath of the Wild.
Outside of gaming Brandon enjoys riding motorcycle, listening to music or podcasts, cooking, watching movies, and is a big sports fan. He is always carrying his Switch with him wherever he goes, so feel free to add him if you’d like to lose at MK8D.