If you’re looking for an enjoyable experience you can just jump into and play for awhile, Risk of Rain fills that need. Not that I haven’t spent a few hours in a row on the game either. It’s enjoyable to dive in for a bit, see how far you can make it, and give it another go.
Risk of Rain feels like a learning experience. You’ll discover new items, learn what combinations of them work best for you, and how to use your characters four skills to combat the increasing hoards of aliens. The whole game has this feel from just dropping you in and telling you simply, go find the teleporter. So you do. Wandering around, new enemies appear and you’ll be battling them, leveling up, and in general moving around a decent sized platforming map.
One of the tricky parts of Risk of Rain however is that the game gets harder over time. The clock doesn’t reset after you move on to the next area either. Take too much time on a level and even bosses start appearing to bring your progress to an end. Really I find this to be one of the more appealing parts of the game. It makes me want to just hang out in the first level and challenge myself to survive as long as I can.
One reason you will want to progress though is unlocking characters. The game features several mystery characters on the start game screen and as you meet different goals, you’ll gain more characters to play as. Each character has different skills too, which usually makes them playable in unique ways. I’ve only unlocked a few so far but in general they do seem to switch up your play style. One characters attack resets your cool down timers if that shot destroys the enemy, another has a shield to defend against attacks from the front when lowered.
The items I mentioned that you pick up are a huge part of the game. You actually accumulate them across the bottom of the screen and it’s definitely awesome having the screen loaded with them. Items do some great things, like generating coins, adding a thorn shield around your character, and various health regen bonuses. One item I found even permanently increased health after every kill. This of course is the treasure that keeps you wandering the levels and wasting precious time as the difficulty continues to ramp up as the clock ticks on. It’s a trade off since items can be of huge value and make your character much more powerful. You’ll also find use items as well, of which you can only carry one at a time. I usually pick reusable ones, and I’m not sure if there are one use items of this type.
I have to admit, I’ve only been playing on the lowest difficulty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun! I did have to turn it down though. I’m still not good enough to make it very far in normal difficulty, never mind the hardest mode. Even in easy (or drizzle mode as it’s called in game, following the rain theme) it’s an enjoyable experience that has kept me coming back for more.
Sadly levels do not carry over to your next playthrough, unless that’s what NG+ is for after you beat the final level and start over. I’m not sure yet since I’m still working on getting to the end. It is enjoyable to jump back in though and tackle yet another play through of Risk of Rain. The arcade like platforming combat, levels that can feel familiar but mixed up a bit which are basically arenas for the chaos, and collecting a huge set of items keeps the game fun.
I’ve also heard multilayer is supposed to make the game easier to play. That is something I’ll have to give a go when I find a friend with the game. I could see it being fun. Really the game has a similar feel to Terraria without mining or building and with unlimited ammo projectile weapons. Sure the areas are contained but the arena feel works well.
Risk of Rain has a great set up with little to bog down gameplay. There’s no story interruptions as you progress through levels, or at least none that I’ve seen, and the concept of the difficulty vs time meter is actually quite cool. It really makes you wonder when you should hit the teleporter, which summons the levels boss, and move on. There does seem to be different stages each level could be. I think there’s at least two for the first level and so on as you progress. So it keeps things fresher since you’re not sure where you’ll end up next for sure. For the low cost it’s quite worthwhile in the time and enjoyment you’ll find playing. There’s even a demo over on Risk of Rain‘s official site.