Rogue Company is a nice change of pace for Hi-Rez who typically release “off-brand” versions of popular titles.
Their skill has never been in doubt, and many of these titles have been as good and in some small areas improved on the original, but they are often mocked by a substantial percentage of the gaming community for their perceived lack of creativity.
Rogue Company shakes things up by taking the fast-paced gameplay of CSGO, the tactical operator emphasis of Rainbow Siege 6, and the gunplay of Fortnite Battle Royale, to give us a title that is both unique and a pleasure to play.
This Could Go Places.
Rogue Company out of the gate offers crossplay between PC and every major console, and that is a huge positive for the longevity of any title; unfortunately, PC players are mostly segregated, only encountering console players where the console user is using M&KB, the PC user is using a controller or the console user is in a party with a PC user.
In the long run, I feel this could be damaging unless a sustainable Pc userbase is created quickly, regardless the console ecosystem is ensured for years to come due to the crossplay between Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and presumably Ps5/Xbox Series X.
The PC userbase seems to be doing fine, with near-instant matchmaking, with the exception of the very early hours of the morning.
Example: at 4-5 am BST EU matchmaking took around 2 minutes, but by 9 am that was reduced to 10 seconds, considering it is a weekday that’s not bad at all for a title still in closed beta.
Could Hi-Rez Still mess it up?
Of course, look at Realm Royale, after a fantastic launch day it quickly spiralled to a three-digit CCU, and while it flirts with four digits on PC during peak hours, it’s very much being kept alive by the crossplay console/community and has seen very little in the way of tangible development since January 2020.
Hi-Rez didn’t seem to know how to handle a growing and popular Battle Royale, and their inexperience in the genre was evident by how badly they mishandled Realm Royale.
On the flip side Paladins, and Smite, continue to do exceptionally well, with Paladins maintaining large communities on Steam, Epic, PS4, Switch and Xbox One, the fact all of these communities are one big community thanks to crossplay makes it possibly the only contender to Overwatch in the hero shooter genre.
And Smite seeming to never lose momentum despite being over six years old.
Could Hi-Rez mess up with Rogue Company? Sure, but right now it’s looking like they have struck gold and are being very careful not to squander Rogue Company’s initial momentum and community goodwill.
Considering the success and longevity of Paladins (25+ million players) and Smite (35+ million players), I am very hopeful Rogue Company will have a secure place in the tactical shooter genre for years to come.
Just Plain Fun.
Rogue Company is just plain fun to play, the Rogues are all very distinct, and their abilities help keep the gameplay dynamic from one minute to the next, from Dallas and his ability to detect enemies even through multiple walls to Saint and his healing drone, the powerful Q ability of each Rogue, can be a game-changer in the right hands.
Every second of every round is important, in almost every match I played, the final result wasn’t decided until the final shot fired, for example, my team twice come back from a 2-0, to win 3-2 this morning alone.
The maps are not the most aesthetically pleasing, with most of them being a series of small rooms and corridors, but they all feel designed to provide ample opportunities for ambushes and firefights, which is what a tactical shooter needs to be successful.
I am particularly fond of flanking the enemy team and taking out the entire squad while they frantically look around for their hidden attacker, It makes me feel like every cheesy 90s action hero, and I love that feeling.
Currency is earned based on your performance during each round and allows you to upgrade both primary and secondary weapons which grants benefits such as reduced recoil, increased range, added silencers, and improved accuracy.
Being able to upgrade/tweak your loadout and purchase passive abilities between rounds is something we see more of in the MOBA genre, and it is a refreshing addition to the tactical shooter genre, and one I hope more games incorporate in the future.
Rogue Company has some of the best-looking playable characters I have seen in an (eventually) free to play shooter, there is a healthy selection of ethnicities, and currently, five female characters that range from sexy 90s action star look of Ronin and Phantom to the more modestly attired Vy and Scorch, rounding out our playable team of ladies is Lancer with her futuristic sporty aesthetic.
Finally, female gamers are being a little bit more choice in regards to the character they want to portray them.
The male character looks similarly great but are a little more predictable.
I could tell by the character portraits alone that the black male (Saint) would be the healer and the white male with the mullet (Dallas) the cowboy/gunslinger troupe.
I happen to love playing as both of these characters, but it did make me chuckle that Hi-Rez didn’t stray too far from the gaming culture association of Lucio (Healer) and Mcree (Cowboy) from Overwatch.
All 7 maps currently in the Closed Beta look gorgeous but lack much in the way of variety, I would really like to see some more tropical, desert or arctic locations.
I feel the developers are already heading in the right direction with maps such as Skyfall, which is both spacious and exotic, I hope going forward we see more maps like this and less like the Factory.
Worth a Play?
Yes, Rogue Company is a lot of fun and one of the few games I feel is as fun to play casually as Fortnite Battle Royale/Overwatch, while I do not expect it will garner the massive userbase of casuals Fortnite Battle Royale/Overwatch have acquired, it is certainly worth a try for fans of tactical or third-person shooters.
Rogue Company currently is in paid closed beta, with a free to play release expected within 12 months.
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