The Action Roguelite thread

There are two roguelite FPS with cartoon graphics and metaprogression in EA, both are cheap (between 10 and 14€) and both have Overwhelmingly Possitive steam reviews : RoboQuest and Gunfire Reborn. I’m intrigued by both and by the mere fact games that similar are being developed in parallel, as if people in different parts of the world noticed there was a market for this, so I decided to try them for ~80-90 min each, and refund them if I’m not convinced, or keep them, or maybe wait until t hey are out of EA.

RoboQuest has very nice gunplay feel for a indie game and despite the variety on weapons, which seems pretty good. There are uzis, sniper rifles, dual pistols, ak47 clones, grenade launchers, flare gun, carbines, shotguns, throwing knives, dual crossbows, laser pistols, beam weapons and more. Movement is silky smooth, too.
However, the combat itself is just decent, and it’s a pity because it could been better.

The first issue for me is the double combo of 2 weapon limit + infinite ammo. Technically, there is a starting artifact you can choose to increase the limit to three, however that means giving up another weapon. I would have made the base game limit 3, and 4 with the artifact. In any case, the biggest issue is no having ammo management whatsoever.
It also doesn’t have a quick grenade throw button. Well, in fact there are no grenades. Come on, if you are going to copy Halo/Borderlands combat, at least copy all of it. This, together have no ammo management, makes the FPS experience feels more sparse and basic, it’s all about just shooting accurately and avoiding enemy fire (all enemies are projectile based) quick enough.
You at least have a single ability that you can use depending on your class, and well, it’s all a copy of stuff we have seen before: stealth for a few seconds + extra damage or first short, put a barrier you can shoot through, deploy a turret, etc. It was dull when Borderlands 1 did it many years ago, and it’s even more dull now.

The second issue is the enemy design and variety. First problem, like the title indicates, it’s all robots as far as the eye can see. The don’t react to being shot with pain states, nor shout, nor there is gore, and I know this is making me sound like a psychopath lol, but it lost some part of the visceral feel that other games have.
The second problem is that most basic enemies are very similar and there isn’t a lot of types. The three basic robots are almost interchangeable, after that we have a turret that is just a turret, and a flying one that it just hovers not doing a lot. They all move slow, and they shoot similar projectiles, with similar RoF and projectile speed.
There are advanced versions of the enemies that are slightly more interesting and more differentiated (although still nothing great), they appear from the second world onwards (after the first boss), butt the first world is dull as hell after the first 7 or 8 playthroughs. Later there are levels with a single new enemy. Still not enough imo, they need 4-5 more enemies, and more interesting ones at that. Where are robots that are able to charge at you? Where are the robots who can repair their allies? Or use stealth camo? You get the idea.

Something I liked is the enemies dropping xp orbs upon killing them, you only have 10? seconds to collect them, so you can’t play passively firing from afar, or you will miss the xp.

The build variety is also not very good. You have three slots to put cores, that are just +1, +2, +3 bonus to two stats (see image)

which produces a way of playing that usually is just “pick the highest rated cores the RNG gives you, and then limit yourself to shooting weapons of that color”, hurting weapon choice even more.

You also gain a perk every time you level up, but many are things like “+% dmg to non elemental weapons”, or “+dmg to melee”, “+% dmg in close rage”, “critical dmg increases when you don’t crit”, “crit has a change of doing shock dmg”, stuff like that, I don’t find them particularly interesting. One allows you to have a shield like in BL. Some examples

I really want to like “I, Dracula: Genesis” (and I really don’t want to type out its title), but the combat is not quite, so far, doing it for me. I am definitely gonna give it a fair shake, but I can’t yet make an argument for it (beyond the utter zaniness of its visuals) when both Hades and Synthetik are sitting in my library.

Yep, the core combat isn’t as good as those games. They have to improve it.

Binding of Isaac: Repentance is the final DLC for Binding of Isaac, and the release data is March 31st. To me, the most important element here is not that the new levels will be designed by the guy who made the amazing Antibirth mod, but the fact that finally there’s a new developer doing the balance. I had a long conversation with him, and he’s going to be making radical changes to the game’s Hard mode so that it’s no longer as much of an OP-fest. I’m finally excited again about BOI!

Gunfire Reborn seems the better game, which is interesting as it’s the cheaper too. This is still very first impression, of course, and both are in EA, so RoboQuest could improve more.
Visually it looks slightly weird at first, with the flat shaded but colorful cartoon visual style, anthropomorphic animals as protagonists and enemies that are a bit too short, they almost seem ‘chibi’ cartoons.

But the gunplay is as good as Roboquest, and it has:

-Quick grenade button
-Weapon with ammo capacity, and three types of ammo pools
-More differentiated classes, with different stats, active skill, passives tree and throwable item.
-More advanced metaprogression (with a entire talent tree screen f)
-More advanced build progression: shop sellers, smiths that upgrade your weapons or reroll your afixxes, more interesting weapon affixes, three skill trees to progress in each run, occult scrolls with unique effects (with rarities, and cursed ones), etc. In general I see more substantial changes done to your character with the ascensions and scrolls than in Roboquest.
-Weapons are well done, in that there are several assault rifles, smgs, etc, but each one has some unique feature, like throwing it as an explosive, or it reloads while not in use, or can pierce, or it has two fire modes, etc.
-More enemies, and with more variety. I have seen spearmen who dashes and did an aoe attack, grenade throwers, big guys with shield who had to be paralyzed and shot from the sides, crossbowmen, some small melee critters, bombers who carry explosive above their heads, etc.Looking at the wiki, there are many more.

Some other differences is that RoboQuest has you double jumping and sprinting around, while in Gunfire you can’t sprint (you can dash, but it has a cooldown) and there is no double jump. In Gunfire you have a recharging shield from the start.

Playing Gunfire Reborn made me remember Immortal Redneck, a game I own but barely played because I didn’t like it when I tried first. I decided to give it a second try…

Coming back to it, it’s true the flaws I remember are still there. But to be fair with it, it also has at least a few good points.
-It looks very nice despite being a 3 year old indie game, and the performance is good.
-It has a decent variety of rooms, and plenty of them feature verticality, or complex layouts, it doesn’t limit itself to simple square-ish arenas.
-Movement is fast, even more with the double jump, you have 3-4 weapon slots and there is no health or shield regen, you isntead heal with health items you pick up.

However, it ends up a flawed game, with things like:
-Boring metaprogression. Buy defense points upgrades, health points, damage points, ammo count, etc. Although this is a minor issue, in comparison with the rest…
-Not only boring, but long:

Buy 75 upgrades of health. 30 of crit chance, 50 of attack, 20 of ammo, 50 of defense, etc.
-Mediocre gunplay. A few weapons are just average, most are mediocre and a few are plain bad,with no effort in animation, sound, f/x, etc.
-Some of the worst visual design for the enemies that I’ve seen. With bad animations. No/or bad hit feedback. Bad, floaty unsatisfying ragdolls. Some of them don’t properly telegraph their positions with sounds. And 60% of them aren’t particularly interesting to fight against.
-Speaking of sounds, I noticed something missing in the game: a good “tell” sound for when enemies spawn in the room, to avoid enemies appearing behind you and hitting you without noticing what had happened.
-Several character classes, but the differences aren’t that big.
-The random scrolls you find are mostly boring, 75% of them are just nice bonuses to have and won’t change how you play.

-And now, after playing some hours, I actually noticed a big flaw that I couldn’t see before: for a roguelite, the experience is really very static, because the enemy spawns are much, much less random that I supposed. I’m not sure if they are 100% static or not, but after a while I noticed how room A with the thin column always have 4 teleporting guys, how room B with the central pillar the enemies is always a group of boards, how in room C there is always two hanged mummies in the side corridors, etc.

Also, first time I reached the 5th floor and the game stuck a monster in a wall:

I had to give up and kill myself in the lava.
(and no, it wasn’t accessible through another path behind or below it the wall, I searched the room four times before giving up).

Looks like there has been a few mentions of this in other threads, but might be worth shining a light on Ratropolis here in this thread, as it’s a deck building, real time tower defense/action roguelike!

Anyone play this? The trailer has intrigued me, to say the least.

I was going to come back to Hades. I have it reinstalled and everything. Then I noticed that

-tomorrow Skul Hero Slayer is released.
-next week Dead Cells DLC releases.
-Very possibly the new hero for Gunfire Reborn also will be out next week.
-Deep Rock Galatic two new biomes will come out on Feb 3rd, so in two weeks.

So basically I have my gaming scheduled booked already!

I’ve played Ratropolis and really liked it. The only issues I had were it not allowing orders while paused and trying to track the various warnings/notifications that popup on the screen. It was also tough handling attacks on both flanks.

However, the different classes played pretty differently, which is great. The metaprogression felt rewarding. As a TBS-lover, I just needed to take a break from the real-time, but I’ll certainly return to it.

Jesus, put that one in the pun hall of fame.

Seconded. That’s a belter.

Lol. To be honest, I only read the summary and the score.

One of my favorite from last year. Glad it got mention here again.

Edit: I love this game btw. I got to Wave 200+ and max pollution. Let me know if you have any questions.

Man, somehow I thought this was gonna be a reference to Tibia Online

My first impression. Damn Skul is hard. Notably harder than for example Dead Cells. It has a least a ‘beginner mode’ where you receive 50% less damage, which seems to be my salvation.

The grind is tweaked towards the slow side, too. Once you pick the first dozen of ‘low hanging fruit’, the rest is increasingly expensive to gain, needing several runs to accrue enough currency.

Does Skul have an option to disable the screen shaking effects?

It seems so:

Wow, harder than Dead Cells? That’s a big statement and makes me afraid to play it lol.

Thank you.