Rogue Trooper Redux is a remaster of Rogue Trooper (a 2006, third-person shooter based on the 2000AD comic book series of the same name). The series focuses around Rogue – a genetically created, toxin-immune, manufactured soldier (or ‘GI’) – as he becomes the last surviving member of his race during a war between the Norts and the Southers (the people responsible for creating his kind). As Rogue, you must play through 13 missions with the aim of finding the Traitor General and seeking vengeance in what is essentially a one man against the world type affair (sort of).
The game opens with a massacre of your race - thanks to the work of this traitor - which sees three of your closest GI buddies get wiped out. Thanks to some pretty cool (or creepy) technology, though, you are able to take the biochips from each of your fallen comrades and install them into your rifle, pack, and helmet – keeping them alive allows a constant flow of banter, tips, and some pretty nice game mechanics. With your friends beside you once again it is time to take on the world.
Levels consist of reaching checkpoints and completing sub-missions; Norts (your enemies) are everywhere and will never hesitate in trying to kill you - every time you want to progress you need to be on the look-out for potential threats. You can either go all guns blazing and try to kill enemies with sheer fire power, try to sneak up on them from behind - killing them silently and therefore adopting a stealth-like approach - or you can try to use your sniper to take out as many baddies as you can before moving forward. You also have a variety of grenades (and guns for that matter) that can achieve different tactics such as blowing things to smithereens, setting things on fire, or using electrical corruption to temporarily disable enemies for a short time.
You might be thinking that Rogue Trooper seems just like any other third-person shooter – and in many ways it is – but the most enjoyable aspect of the game comes from something slightly different: how your comrades can be used in battle and the way in which you keep on top of supplies. As you play through each level you’ll find salvage, something that one of your comrades can use to craft upgrades or replenish your ammo and health supplies. Salvage can sometimes be found on the ground or, alternatively, you can always get some from fallen enemies – a quick press of the ‘Y’ button will pick it up and add it to your collection.
During your missions you have access to a menu which allows you to use this salvage however you wish – as long as you have sufficient funds. This means that you can always play with your chosen play-style in mind and it works a treat. For example, if you’re the stealthy type, you can collect the odd bit of salvage to spend on sniper ammo and keep your distance; if you want to blindly shoot anything that moves, however, you’ll be able to get lots of salvage from the corpses on the ground. This second method would result in a need to spend your earnings on medi-paks to restore health. Thanks to this supply method, you will never be forced to use a particular weapon or style that you don’t like just because all of the ammo lying around happens to suit a certain gun.
Another useful comrade ability is the option to set your rifle down as a sentry, allowing you to hide behind cover and let multiple enemies be destroyed whilst your gun does all the work for you. Yet another ability allows you to send out a hologram of your body, causing the AI to focus on that instead of you and start shooting away, not realising it’s a fake. This gives you a great chance to take out enemies that have you surrounded or can provide some assistance when you have snipers watching you from above. In some missions (particularly the earlier ones), you don’t really need to do any of this - running around and just blasting things works absolutely fine. There’s a satisfaction in the process, though; executing perfect kills or using all of your tricks to pull off a really successful diversion feels great.
On top of the single player campaign you can also play two different modes – ‘Stronghold’ or ‘Progression’. These can be played alone in single player or online in either a public lobby or with your friends (unlike some recent games, you have the option to play with those on your friends list). Stronghold sees you defending your position for a set time against waves of oncoming Norts, whilst Progression sees you having to fight your way to a safe zone. Things work a bit differently here to the campaign, though; instead of using salvage to restore your supplies or using your comrades for help, you’ll need to pick up supplies from the ground as you would in most shooters. The modes can be fun (if you’re playing with friends at least) but without the upgrades and abilities from the main campaign it feels like the online portion of the game has lost the best thing about the experience.
Considering the game is now eleven years old it has aged really well; playing through the missions in the story is still great fun. The remastered visuals go a long way in helping it seem modern, too – characters, weapons, and vehicles have all be completely re-modelled and everything has been given a HD lick of paint; it isn’t ever shockingly beautiful but there are times (such as the cut-scenes) where things look suitably impressive. It isn’t perfect on the whole – it doesn’t quite stand up to the juggernauts of the genre available today and some of the enemy voice-acting is particularly questionable – but it is very successful nonetheless and is faithful to both the original game and the comic series from which it was originally born.
Rogue Trooper Redux boasts an enjoyable campaign with a wonderful supply maintenance system in place. The ability to spend your earnings on whatever you please rather than relying on what is handed to you sets this title apart from the more “standard” games in the genre. The online multiplayer modes aren’t as fun as they could be, though, and the main game’s relatively short length (anywhere from 5-10 hours depending on your play-style) means that it strays just short of being a truly amazing experience. Despite this, it is still definitely worth your time - whether you’ve played the game before or not. If you enjoy your shooters, give this one a go.