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Streets of Rogue (Switch) Review

July 27, 2019 | Posted by Genna Boyer
Streets of Rogue
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Streets of Rogue (Switch) Review  

Welcome to Streets of Rogue, a rogue-lite RPG that encourages dumpster diving and chloroforming innocents in equal measure. A tyrannical mayor has confiscated all the booze and outlawed the most holy of food groups– chicken nuggets. After joining the Resistance (for the nugs) and completing the most enjoyable tutorial I’ve ever played, I headed toward the core experience. I was now a rebel with a cause; kill the major or get punched through a wall while trying.

Describing Streets of Rogue is like saying The Legend of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, HITMAN, RPG elements, and a randomly generated sandbox had a baby. Every mission is an obstacle, but also a step toward the main goal. Based on the character-leveling points system, destruction and stealth are heavily encouraged. There are numerous character archetypes and traits to play. And thanks to that sandbox gene, every run feels like a distinct adventure.

In the age of waypoint markers, Streets of Rogue let go of my hand and said, “Git gud, scrub.” Despite having clear goals like completing the missions and progressing to the next level, my waypoint-programmed brain misinterpreted “freedom” as “lacking structure.” Having true freedom confused the crap out of me. Normally, my biggest worry in a game is which items I need to drop to make room for new stuff. Now I had to pray that a lockpick would spawn in a trashcan.

Missions are randomly generated, generic, and repetitive, but the what, who, and why of it doesn’t really matter. Under all the randomness, the true essence and limitation of Streets lies with the creativity and cunning of the person holding the controller. The real fun stems from how you complete missions. If you can’t adapt, the Streets will punish you.

Options are plentiful in Streets of Rogue, but they don’t stop at character creation and purchasing more items with those precious chicken nuggets. Meeting in-game criteria can unlock new character archetypes, new items, new traits, and even the ability to skip entire areas. “Mutators” remind me of cheat codes, but if you need more spice or to clear your gameplay palate, there’s a wide variety of ways to “mutate” the game further than the randomness that already exists.

As far as the console of choice, I’m starting to consider the Switch my preferred indie console. The accessibility of the Switch combined with the pick-up-and-go nature of Streets is a match made in gaming heaven. I would rather play with the Switch docked, but Streets plays smoothly and looks crisp even in handheld mode. My only personal gripe is how small the text is for things like item and ability descriptions, but my poor eyesight is a minor nuisance.

At the end of the day, Streets of Rogue is a chaotic sandbox full of mayhem and player freedom. Variety is endless when considering all the unlockable content and “mutators.” Random maps offer their own experiences and rewards. And, of course, the best part is accomplishing each mission with a unique touch of creativity.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Recommended play on the Switch. Fun, humor, and variety included. Creativity and adaptation required.

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Streets of Rogue, Genna Boyer