There was a time in life, like many of my generation when you hung out for Saturday and the latest copy of 2000AD to hit the shelves.
For years the wild sci-fi characters and irreverent stories where mainstay conversation starters around the school yard. Everybody (mostly) knows Judge Dredd thanks to Hollywood, but the comic had many stablemates for Joe that drew their own legions of fans.
Strontium Dog, Hammerstein and the ABC Warriors, Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock, Halo Jones and her robo-dog Toby, not forgetting ACE Garp. Those stories and many more were etched into history week by week, while Marvel and DC ran amok with costumed characters 2000AD delivered a hefty dose of darkness.
For me, one of the favourites and one of my all time eternal heroes was Rogue Trooper, the renegade Genetic infantryman.
Briefly, Rogue was a lone wolf character – the survivor of a botched incursion into the infamous Quartz Zone where his comrades were decimated. Rogue took it on himself to seek out the mysterious traitor that sent his men to their deaths, while fighting his way through an onslaught of enemies.
It was boys own stuff, especially when he was backed up by his three mates Helm, Gunnar and Bagman. All reduced to Bio-Chips inserted into slots on his equipment and they were fortunately quite aptly named for their roles. Being reduced to a chip was a second chance for a G.I., their subplot was to get back to the labs on Milicom (read home base) and get themselves rebuilt.
That’s the gist in a nutshell, along with a couple of minor game spoilers.
Oh, yeah, the game.
Rogue Trooper Redux, is a high def rework of the same game that graced consoles a generation ago and to be honest it kind of shows.
Rebellion with Tick Tock have done a fine job in bringing the game back, it was about time the blue skinned soldier got some love and it’s very likely this Redux is going to shift more numbers that the game did first time round, it also shows where they started with some of their more well known back catalogue numbers. That said there are a few speed bumps to look past, easy if you wear a Rogue Trooper heart on your sleeve, but the modern gamer has pretty high standards these days and Rogue may not have the legs to see them through.
As a third person shooter Rogue Trooper puts you firmly in the boots of the titular soldier, hellbent on his mission of revenge you spend the early part of the game fighting alongside other G.I.s and getting to populate your equipment with etc bio-chips of your buddies. Apart from the company and guidance they provide it makes your equipment more autonomous adding abilities like projecting hologram decoys and setting your rifle up as a sentry gun.
Missions are generally linear and often feel like a shooting gallery thanks to the backdated A.I., enemies come in waves and are easy get through. Action is the number one route, although stealth can be a fun option in some circumstances, there are also often opportunities to grab heavy ordinance or emplacements to add some variety. However taking down a Blackmare with a couple of rocket attacks seems a touch easy. There is also the feel of the controls, they haven’t been ‘modernised’ in any way, great for etc purists, but even a tweak to improve grenade and mine lobbing would have been handy.
The depth comes when you start to up-skill Rogue and can start setting traps with Gunnar on sentry duty and laying a carpet of micro-mines ready for oblivious Nort troopers. Along the way you will need to build your own munitions from Bagman’s mini factory and the currency for these is collected from scrap metal and looting corpses. It all works well, once you get past the older style presentation, no matter how much more polished and round it is the core of the game remains a load of fun. Not forgetting that being able to charge around in Rogue’s boots is a dream come true for some not so little boys (and girls).
The game also offers some online match types, Stronghold and Co-Op Game modes, to be honest I’m still ploughing the campaign before jumping into anything like that.
Rogue Trooper is a well deserved second outing for the character and kudos to Rebellion for wanting to show off a key piece of their history. It may take a couple of levels to get back into that older style of gaming, but its certainly worth it.
That rifle still looks too big though.