Risk of Rain was a game I never really fancied playing. I had seen people play it on streams, but the idea of a 2D shooter game with elements of platforming and random items never appealed to me. A 2D game with all that, which started hard and only got more difficult, made Risk of Rain a game I’d probably avoid. But somehow, you put Risk of Rain into a 3D environment and suddenly I’m having fun.
Brother recommended that I try Risk of Rain 2, simply because it was 1+1 free, and him and sister were already going to play it. They all joked that I wouldn’t like Risk of Rain 2 because it’s a hard game and you die a lot, but they wanted me to play anyway. So sister’s boyfriend and I split the cost of a copy of Risk of Rain 2, downloaded the game (which was only 500mb) and jumped in. We all did a quick trial run in single player before jumping into multiplayer co-op.
We played for almost four hours straight.
Needless to say, we all enjoyed Risk of Rain 2. Somehow, despite being mostly a 3D version of Risk of Rain 1 (with new stuff added of course), it was insanely enjoyable. In those four hours, we got to the fourth level, where the massive flaming lizard things would destroy our asses and the difficulty would climb into “I Can See You” and “I’m Crying” levels.
But despite getting our asses kicked, we still enjoyed it. We all unlocked the first two new characters (a robot and a huntress) and we all managed to get into the swing of things.
Okay, to be fair, I was pretty shit. I’d waste too much time getting lost and running away. But I’d never played Risk of Rain before. But sometimes running away is what’s needed because it is so, so easy to get overwhelmed by enemies, even on the first level.
That’s the beauty of Risk of Rain though. You can see the difficulty level rising. You need to know what to prioritize and not to waste too much time, so you can get to later levels without things being too hard, but also giving yourself enough time to earn money and get loot so you are strong enough to deal with those levels. From what I’ve seen, speed-running though is better than taking your time. In fact, the game rewards you for going fast.
That being said though, it’s all better in multiplayer. Having four people looking for a teleporter means a lot more enemies and potentially a lot more bosses that you have to kill, but you can save time by marking items for one another and help each other grow more powerful. On your own, it can feel a little overwhelming, especially with the ever-rising difficulty levels.
Chances are, Risk of Rain 2 is easier than Risk of Rain 1. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. A slightly easier game means that more people pick it up, even if they never finish it. More players is always a good thing, right? In the mean time, there is an insanely hard mode for people who really want to push themselves. I haven’t touched that mode yet, but I also haven’t touched easy mode yet either.
I honestly don’t really even have many criticisms for Risk of Rain 2, apart from technical ones. I did notice a lot of framerate drops in some boss fights, and lowering my settings didn’t make them all go away. And the menus seem to have a wildly different sensitivity compared to what we have in-game.
But gameplay-wise, I’m not sure what else there is to add. I think all I want are a way to “unlock” when you’ve readied up, in case someone has a connection problem while in the multiplayer lobby, and a way to revive players.
I don’t want it to be a cheap way to revive players or anything. Heck, make it cost half your health and gold to revive someone. But dying at the start of the level sucks as you watch your team mates run around and continue playing. It’s supposed to be punishing, and a revival mechanism should be punishing too, but no one likes to sit on their hands and wait.
Apart from those minor complaints though, I absolutely loved playing Risk of Rain 2. It’s definitely better with friends though.