Streets of Rogue - The Dominions & Deus Ex of Roguelites

Searching on the forum, I can see this game has been mentioned in a few places, for example…

What is your current favorite Roguelike? [Or all things roguelike]
It is time for the 2019 Quarterlies! Vote for Quarter to Three’s Best Game of 2019
I Played This Indie Game and You Should Too!
Little Indie Games Worth Knowing About (Probably)
The best local co-op…PC games.
Favourite Cyberpunk-genre games?

But you know, no one has bothered in making a thread about it. So this is coming late, as the game was released one year ago (and I think it had 2 years of EA period?), but better late than never. I started playing a few days ago, so you can accompany me in the journey that this game supposes :P.

https://streetsofrogue.gamepedia.com/Streets_of_Rogue_Wiki

Features

-24 classes
-Procedural generation for world
-4 player local and online coop
-Mod workshop
-Lots of adjustable settings and game customization (>50 game mutators, customizable lists of in game rewards and traits)
-Custom class system too

As you may know, Streets of Rogue is a indie 2d roguelite game, where you play a member of the resistance who has to defeat the corrupt mayor of the city, doing a series of objectives through procedurally generated city districts. The combat is in real time but it’s pretty ‘ehh’, very simplistic, it’s these city districts, and more exactly what happen in them and the things you can do are the real star of the show. Npcs move around, cops watches for crimes, thieves steal shit, several factions may fight between them, and you have ample freedom to use force, stealth, hacking, bribery, special items and more to get shit done.

It’s this freedom of choice and the systemic ‘everything’ that make people say it’s a ‘2d Deus Ex’.

The title is a joke in all the things you can be, a bit like in Dominions where there is ample choice of nations. More importantly I found it funny, as this has to be the only forum where the joke would work lol. From the wiki, you can be:

-Assassin
-Bartender
-Cannibal
-Comedian
-Cop
-Doctor
-Firefighter
-Gangster
-Gorilla
-Hacker
-Investment banker
-Jock
-Scientist
-Shapeshifter
-Shopkeeper
-Slavemaster
-Slum Dweller
-Soldier
-Supercop
-Thief
-Upper-Cruster
-Vampire
-Werewolf
-Wrestler
-Zombie
-Mobster
-Robot
-Alien (dlc)
-Goon (dlc)
-Demolitionist (dlc)
-Courier (dlc)

Each one has a unique combination of stats (endurance, speed, melee, firearms), special ability, traits and starting items. At the start, you only have available 6 of them and the rest has to be unlocked, but it’s pretty easy to do, in 5-6 runs you will unlock a dozen of them.
Oh, an advice, the default class, the one that is selected at first and the game uses in the tutorial in the Slum Dweller. If anything, this could be considered an ‘advanced class’ whose gimmick is sucking at the early game, but it grows more in power as you level up. You may try another class as you first one, don’t be discouraged if you are killed super fast with it.

But the game to really sell this game, it’s to show what you can do. So; Cool things you can do in the game, in general:

-You can destroy doors and walls with explosives
-You can tap on windows or knock on doors to attract people
-Fire can spread on wooden material
-You can use, or hack, alarm buttons
-You can poison ventilation systems in buildings, with any drug or consumable item you have
-You can store items for next runs using ATMs
-You can throw money to wells for luck
-You can hide in bushes
-You can upgrade or swap character traits in aug booths
-You can cook in barbecues
-You can use clone machines to generate a new npc of your class type who will have a friendly status to you
-You can use computers
-You can destroy power generators, or use a wrench to do the same in a silent manner
-You can distract people using a jukebox or other similar items
-You can play in slot machines
-You can poison ponds
-You can douse fires with a fire hydrant, and the water will knock out people
-You can ignite oil
-You can spawn ghost by destroying gravestones.
-You can tase people, shrink them with a shrink ray, knock them out with a tranq gun, throw drugs with a water pistol, freeze them with a freeze ray, burn them with a flamethrower, made them trip with a banana peel…
-You can bribe the police to ignore your crimes
-You can threaten npc targets, or bribe the, so they leave the city or give you the item mission you need
-You can hire slum dwellers and gangsters to do your bidding
-You can purchase slaves

Cool things hackers can do:

-As a hacker, you can change prices of different paid booths, like ammo dispenser, goodie dispenser, sell-o-matic, etc
-You can use more ‘distracting’ items, like hacking an arcade game, or a tv.
-You can hack safes, disarm or trigger door detonators, make tv explode or refrigerators to crash into walls
-You can tamper aim of robots or make cop bots go haywire
-You can change behavior of systems like security cameras and turrets
-You can trigger traps and gas vents

I bought it on sale for the Switch and bounced off it after my first couple of attempts. I’m not really good at roguelikes, so I guess I’m going to need more guidance than the game offers itself to get back into it. Any suggestions for best / easiest starting class and strategies?

Is there any meta-progression or unlockables?

Yeah, I was planning to explain this.

There is no real ‘meta-progression’ in the sense of gaining power, like extra health or damage, for posterior runs. By doing quests, you gain a currency that can be used to unlock two things: traits and reward items. Traits are perks gained (every two level-ups I believe?), and rewards items are the reward you get upon completing a quest.
So you are increasing the random pool of both with these unlocks. Which may actually bother some people as it will ‘dillute’ the pool with things you don’t want, but the game already have a way to deal with that, you can turn on/off some of them, with the requisite of having at least x activated.

Well, now that I think about it, there is a way to gain ‘extra power’, but it isn’t permanent, just for the next run. You can use the already mentioned meta-currency to buy extra starting items. It seems a way to spend the currency once you unlock everything.

There are really three things to unlock in your progress:

-Traits and rewards, as explained
-Character classes, there are… 18 to unlock. The requirements for each are unique but as I said before, they are fairly easy. It’s like doing an achievement: get to have $500 in a run, or destroy 20 gravestones, or buy 10 drinks in a run, or kill 20 people in a floor, or kill a ghost.
-Big quest for every character class. They are unique quest for every class, that marks an optional objective to do during all the campaign. Medic cannot kill more than 2 people per floor, the assassin has an extra target he has to kill without witnesses, the hacker has to install malware in a computer per floor but this causes enemies to spawn, etc.
The unlock part comes in this: once you have done the big quest, the character gain a super ability to use in the final level of the game. And there is a non-default game mutator that allows to use the super ability during the entire run, if you had unlocked it.

Despite me making the thread I still no expert or anything close… but I will say I had a good run with the soldier. He has good combat stats, great starting weapons (uzi + grenades + mines). And with his unique item, he can gain a bit of ammo for all his weapons as you kill people, so the trick is to not have a pair of firearms, but 4 or 5. When you kill three people (note, they don’t have to be hostiles…) you gain ammo not for the weapon used, but for all them. That means if you switch between weapons regularly, you will always have ammo for them.

About how to play, try to do everything. This is, not only getting the two quests per floor you have to do, there are also chests to loot not related to the missions. Fridges are health-dispensers, so you should also assault houses and loot them. At some point you will have enough money (from selling all the loot) that you can bribe cops in several floors.

I played this a bit back in January, but I bounced off it pretty hard. I think I’ll give it another go.

I think soldier is actually one of the harder classes, because combat is so chaotic and can easily get you killed.

I found it much easier to play the vampire. They can’t use healing items or food, but they can sneak up behind any NPC, even dangerous ones, and feed on them to regenerate health. If a victim is alone, this can be done quite safely. And if they kill the victim by taking all their blood, they can loot their remains.

In practice this means that vampires are usually at full health and flush with cash. They are also invisible to security cameras, which helps them infiltrate objectives. They mainly run into trouble when the level gets too chaotic and NPCs are rampaging across the map, because it’s harder to find a quiet secluded alley where they can find dinner.

Another advice I can give is something that maybe people who only tried it for a 30 or 60 minutes have missed: you recover to full health with every level-up. So timing that with moments where you are low on health increase your survival chances, as you won’t have to pay up a doctor or buy a medkit.

Because of that, gaining extra xp by opening safes or chests, releasing a prisoner or knocking out instead of killing a hostile is also important, as in the long run it means not only extra traits but extra hp refills.
In fact, because of that the big quest can be important. Because beyond of what I described, it gives a hefty amount of xp for every intermediate goal done in every floor.

I also would turn off the random disasters, like zombie invasions or war bombardment, that kind of thing is cool for veterans who already know the game like the palm of their hand, but for noobs it adds up to the initial chaos and confusion.

edit: I will add one more thing. If you make a stupid mistake in a floor that ruin your current run, you can cheese it and revert easily: just go to main menu, and the last progress will be lost, the game will load up the last checkpoint, when you arrived to the new floor.

My problem with this game ended up being the controls - it was too “floaty” for me to ever feel fully in control of the action, making it extra frustrating. If this game had tighter controls I’d still be playing it, I loved everything else about it. Aiming, in particular, but just trying to manage my items while running from shit was just too frustrating to be enjoyable.

I love playing as the Shapeshifter, it reminds me of playing Paradroid.

This is ok but it feels… close to a streaming game. IE, once of these popular games that don’t quite crest in the line of sight of grognards that works best with the audience in a streaming platform. All the wacky disaster situations and unexpected chains of consequence seem less impactful playing alone.

Or maybe i’m just too old for it. It’s definately got a lot of chaotic random mess disaster sort of fun, kind of like Heat Signature. But… that opportunity cost. It’s not at all bad, but i think i’d rather play something else.

I think the controls are fine, It’s the combat that is weird, with all the chaotic knock-backs.

The combat in some ways really remind me of something like Deus Ex or System Shock, in that it isn’t viscerally fun, but just a way to apply resource management: you spend ammo or an amount of weapon durability and/or health in exchange of clearing a zone of enemies. You also can use other consumables to obtain an advantage in the combat in exchange of spending less of other resources, like health.
Also, because once combat starts things can go south quickly, the ‘pre-combat’ setup is more important. From choosing who to attack first, if try to attract him to a deserted area, to what items you use like mines, when to do it (wait until a patrol is farther away…), etc.

My kid and I play this off and on…it’s fun and chaotic. Have not beat the game yet but have unlocked a lot of the whacky upgrades.

It’s worth a little bit of cash.

I play in couch co-op with my daughters and we have a blast. It’s an excellent couch co-op game. Lots of laughing!

From the videos I’ve watched and the ~5 hours steam tells me I’ve put into it, it seems like this game is a lot more fun co-op.

Play it Coop with someone who IS good at those games. Then Screw up their plans as you say sorry I suck at this and giggle. Eventually you’ll get good but your buddy will never know…

Embrace the Chaos, better yet create it. It’s a big part of the fun.

I enjoy solo play a lot more after getting the hang of it but Coop is hysterical.

This game is so much fun, especially in co-op. My favorite character is the doctor who can chloroform anyone.

People that feel the game is a bit too chaotic or it doesn’t control well in combat, they may try to use this mutator:

-20% game speed, It makes it much easier the hectic moments.

It’s interesting, how flexible is the game. It’s good a chaotic fun, laughs with friends & family, but it is also allow me a slower, more measured style, exploring and thinking the correct attack avenue in each problem presented.

Yep…when I play with the kid, its laughing and screwing each other up, etc…but solo, slow and deliberate!

Yeah much of the time you can take your time figuring out how to approach a problem, unless there’s a natural-disaster style thing like periodic radiation bursts, but you can turn that off for a more casual experience.